Birmingham tops the league for high-value engineering locations in the UK – supporting more than 17,000 jobs, a new survey reveals.

A new report published today from the Royal Bank of Scotland entitled The Future of UK High Value Engineering, pinpoints the Midlands capital as key to the engineering sector.

Along with Sheffield and Manchester, Birmingham is highlighted as a city that will lead a new High Value Engineering revolution in the UK.

But the survey warns that the UK stands to lose out in a global race to become a leading centre for the sector as investment slows down during the downturn.

The new RBS report found that only one in ten businesses are planning to increase their R&D spend beyond current levels over the next two to five years.

“Worryingly, of those that do spend on R&D only 4 per cent of UK manufacturers are targeting cutting-edge technology.”

Andrew Harrison, Managing Director Midlands & East at RBS said “Engineering companies need to act now to secure future growth – for themselves and the UK as a whole.

"New technology and techniques are quickly changing the landscape of manufacturing and we must be able to exploit these opportunities.

“For the UK to be able to compete internationally, expenditure on research and development in tomorrow’s technologies must increase substantially.”

The UK is currently the 9th largest manufacturing nation in the world and High Value Engineering accounts for 35 per cent of all exports and contributes £151 billion worth of value toward the UK’s estimated Balance of Payments figure.