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For every £1 invested in the TAP scheme, £40 comes back to the country in taxable revenue. Since 2013, the scheme value across all industries has shrunk from £20m to an estimated £6m in 2019. As our country prepares to leave the EU, our largest trading partner by far, we should be doing more, not less, to support our exporters to reach new markets. Uniquely, government has control over the funding needed to make a success our our country's export strategy.

Whilst the TAP scheme survives, and the Sponsors' Alliance enjoys good relations with DIT, direct export support to companies is chronically underfunded and schemes like TAP are becoming increasingly bureaucratic.

The Sponsors' Alliance believes a funded Tradeshow Access Programme, that compares with that of our EU competitors and as part of a broader export support offer, will significantly help SMEs to secure export business.





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 UKTI Tradeshow Access Programme generates extra £1bn in three years


The results of the survey shows that over the last three years and in particular the last year (where there was a 26% rise), we have seen a significant increase in UK SMEsí exhibiting at exhibitions overseas as part of an ATO organised UK group. Many of these companies are attending shows they had previously not considered doing and that the UKTI TAP support scheme has been the key driver to them attending.

Attending these overseas exhibitions has generated additional turnover (on average nearly £300,000 per company) and has created or safeguarded jobs for the companies involved (on average nearly 8 jobs per company).

In the survey, the 582 companies told us they had taken part in 2090 exhibitions (just under 4 per company) in the last 3 years. They told us this generated around £172m of business.

The average UKTI grant given out over the period is approximately £2500. At that level the ROI on supporting 582 companies with 2090 grants (total cost £5.225m) is approximately 33 to 1.

If this is scaled up to include all the companies UKTI has supported in the last 3 years (approximately 12,300 grants), then the supported companies will have generated just over £1bn in extra turnover for a £31m investment.

Long term it is known that these exporters will generally continue to outstrip non-exports in terms of growth, leaving only the question of why doesnít every government support exporters in this way?

The full report is available to download

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