The Documentaries

In-depth programmes that identify and suggest solutions to the challenges
facing the manufacturing sector.  


Before 2020 came along, with the major disruptions of COVID, Brexit and supply chains creaking, things were relatively calm and life was quite predictable. Since 2020, it has been anything but, with Ukraine and energy price instability adding further to the challenges faced by manufacturing leaders. In this documentary, we speak to leaders from companies large and small about their leadership philosophy, how they have risen to meet the challenges of today and what advice they would offer other manufacturing leaders.  Guests include: Dick Elsy, former HVM Catapult CEO who led the Ventilator Challenge UK at the start of the pandemic. Juergen Maier, former CEO of Siemens UK and now chair of the Digital Catapult. Paul Williams, Chief Operating Officer at Brompton Bicycles, Kirsty Davies-Chinnock, MD of Professional Polishing Services and founder of the Women with Metal Conference. Nick Russel, CEO of The Denchi Group and David Savage, leadership coach/advisor and founder of Manufacturing with Purpose.


The fifth in our series of six programmes examines why UK manufacturers are particularly badly affected by the energy crisis and how they can mitigate the dangers that volatile energy prices pose to their business. 

We examine the role of Ofgem and ask how it should be strengthened to protect manufacturers and we look at how hydrogen is being pursued as a green fuel alternative. We also examine ways manufacturers are generating their own electricity.  

Nick Peters and Jonny Williamson talk to David Hart of Energy Intelligent Solutions, Stephen Morley of the Confederation of British Metalforming, Rowan Crozier of Brandauer, Frank Aaskov of UK Steel, Laura McBrown of G&B ElectronicsKaty Milne of the High Value Manufacturing Catapult and Richard Lloyd of Encirc Beverages.


The fourth in our series of six programmes examines why innovation in the UK is brilliant at the conceptual level, but poor when it comes to turning great ideas into world-beating products and companies.

We ask whether low levels of government funding for R&D has led to regional inequality in productivity and prosperity and how proposed changes to R&D tax credits might disfavour SME manufacturers.

Nick Peters and Jonny Williamson talk to the Shadow Minister for Science, Innovation and Technology Chi Onwurah MP, legendary innovator and investor Hermann Hauser CBE, Professor Richard Jones of Manchester University, the inventor of the Blade Compressor, Steve Lindsey of Lontra, Ewan Lloyd-Baker, Chairman of i3 Group Solutions Ltd and Terry Cheesman, R&D Tax Specialist at Haines Watts.


The third in our series of six programmes looks at the challenge facing SME manufacturers to recruit the skills they need, now and in the future. 
With the national workforce depleted by Brexit and Covid, the crisis that has been evolving over years of underinvestment in skills, education and technology  is close to becoming an existential threat.  
Nick Peters and Jonny Williamson are joined by David Bailey from the Birmingham Business School, Hilary Leevers CEO of Engineering UK, Tony Hague CEO of PP Control and Automation, Rowan Crozier CEO of Brandauer, Stewart McKinlay Director of Skills at the Manufacturing Skills Academy at the National Manufacturing Institute Scotland (NMIS), Mike Wilson, Chief Automation Officer at the MTC and Angela Lawlor, Founder of Marvelous Manufacturing. .


The second in our series of six programmes looks at the challenge facing SME manufacturers to decarbonise their businesses. At a national level the UK has some enormous investment decisions to make and it’s by no means certain those decisions will be made and executed in time to preserve vital parts of our industry, such as steel.
How should SMEs respond? Press on or hold back?
Press on!!!
Nick is joined by David Bailey from the Birmingham Business School, Kirsty Davies-Chinnock of Professional Polishing Services Ltd, Dr Mark Swift from the Warwick Manufacturing Group, Brian Holliday CEO of Siemens Digital Industries, Paul Cantwell from the National Manufacturing Institute Scotland and Chris McDonald Chief Exec of the Materials Processing Institute.  


The first in our series of six programmes presented by Nick Peters and Jonny Williamson examines the argument for a proper industrial strategy for the UK. What does that look like? Should manufacturers push government harder to create stability and long-term confidence?
Featuring Juergen Maier CBE, Shadow Business Secretary Jonathan Reynolds MP, Professor David Bailey of Birmingham Business School, Professor Alan Norbury, Chief Technologist of Siemens Digital Industries UK, Barry Leahey MBE of Playdale Playgrounds, Andrea Wilson of Hone-All Precision Ltd, Paul Cantwell from the National Manufacturing Institute Scotland and Paul Bagwell of Halo Appliances.