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Business News in County Durham

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Boost for North East as exports up by 6.2%

Boost for North East as exports up by 6.2%

North East exports of goods rose by 6.2% to £13bn for the year ending March 2018, compared to the previous 12 months, according to the latest HMRC figures (published Thursday 7th June). 

The national picture shows that exports of goods from England increased by 6.5% to £ £244.6bn.

The figures for the first quarter of 2018 (Jan - Mar) show that the North East is home to more than 2,000 exporters, an increase of 4.3% when compared to the first quarter of 2017, with an average value per exporter of £1.6m.

One North East business that has experienced exporting success is Big Little Toys. The Durham-based business, an educational toy manufacturer, has enjoyed a 120% increase in revenue in the past two years, thanks to exporting. 

In 2017, the firm exported more than 20,000 units to overseas markets and has already secured contracts in Australia, South Africa and New Zealand. The business is now planning to continue working with the Department for International Trade (DIT) to identify new overseas markets and further develop its exporting plans to grow its presence in the UAE and Hong Kong.

David Coppock, Head of Exports for the North East at Department for International Trade, said: “HMRC’s latest figures, demonstrate what we are seeing daily, as the number of exports is on the rise. Our team is supporting an increasing number of businesses looking to explore the idea of trading overseas for the first time and coming to us to see how they can reap the benefits of exporting.

“We have 19 dedicated International Trade Advisers on the ground to support firms wanting to export for the first time, or those looking to increase their activity in existing overseas markets. There is a strong appetite for British goods and services from overseas and we’re here to help North East businesses capitalise on the hundreds of opportunities we have across the globe.

“No matter your stage on the exporting journey, we’re on hand to help with everything from finding a buyer to legal and tax requirements. Anyone that’s interested, should get in touch now and find out how exporting could help their business reach its full growth potential.”

International Trade Secretary, Dr. Liam Fox said: “As we continue our path to Brexit, HMRC’s latest figures clearly show every part of the UK making the most of global opportunities as goods exports rise across the country. More than 100,000 businesses are expanding their horizons and making the most of the demand for quality British goods.

 “For some, this isn’t the end of the road but the start to their exporting journey. As they grow their networks and create jobs and prosperity across the UK, my international economic department is supporting them through our experienced international trade advisers and Exporting is GREAT campaign.”

DIT’s Exporting is GREAT campaign aims to help more businesses explore new markets overseas. The campaign is currently showcasing 30+ UK businesses – from a range of sectors and regions – to inspire and support firms up and down the country to export.

Separate figures released by the Department for International Trade on 7th June highlight British businesses feeling that UK exports are set to remain on an ever-growing upward curve as the UK leaves the European Union. 

The National Survey of Registered Businesses (NSRB) 2017, published by the Department for International Trade (DIT) surveyed 3,000 businesses from across the UK.

It found:

  • Nearly three-quarters (73%) of businesses with an annual turnover of £500,000 or more said they believed that there is strong demand for British good and services from around the world (up from 68% in 2015
  • Almost half (47%) of all UK businesses believe that the value of UK exports will continue to grow over the next five years, more than double the amount who thought the opposite
  • Nearly two thirds (63%) of businesses with an annual turnover of £500,000 or more businesses agreed that significantly more businesses could export be exporting (up from 55% in 2016) 
  • As the Department prepares to launch its Export Strategy, as many as 130,000 companies have made use of DIT’s export support offer

Firms looking for support should ring 0345 136 0169 or email This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.. They can also visit great.gov.uk, which has information on live export opportunities and includes general information on exporting and events.