Confidence among Midlands manufacturing companies is high and the majority expect to report growth during 2014, suggests new research.

The annual Manufacturing Survey, conducted in association with accountancy firm network MHA, said 83 per cent of the region's businesses which were surveyed said they were planning to invest in research and development in 2014

The 2014 survey also revealed that more than 90 per cent of UK businesses were planning for growth with an expectation to expand and develop their product ranges and predicting a main driver for success will come from international trade.

Fifty-eight per cent of businesses which responded said they were currently exporting with Europe and North America two of the most active destinations.

MHA asks a range of locally based manufacturers with turnovers ranging from £1 million to £41 million and probes their strategies towards investment in product ranges, R&D and staffing.

The survey said 68 per cent of respondents were planning to recruit during 2014 with no businesses predicting any job cuts.

A further 66 per cent of those surveyed were also committed to taking on apprentices and trainees as part of their growth strategy.

Chris Barlow, managing director with Birmingham accountancy firm Bloomer Heaven which sponsored the awards, said: "The work we do every day with a wide range of manufacturing businesses has confirmed confidence among the Midlands manufacturing sector is growing significantly.

"I believe the findings of this survey show the recovery is well under way and the prospects for further growth which importantly also means more jobs at all levels is something to celebrate.

"Clearly, there are challenges for businesses, not least in managing the increase in costs, but with prudent business planning, control of finances and utilisation of tax breaks such as those around R&D, the future is looking very positive for Midlands manufacturing."