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The Sponsors Alliance

For most of the last 10 years UK Trade & Investment (UKTI) and now the Department for International Trade has changed from a major supporter of UK industry to one that is almost invisible, unsupportive and at times damaging.

During 2012 to 2013 a significant investment in Tradeshow Access Programme support had lead to a huge increase in SMEs starting to export and going in to new markets.

In October 2014 UKTI decided to cut support to the Tradeshow Access Programme (this programme gives grants to new and new to market SME exporters) mid year, breaking agreements arranged a year previously. This caused the cancellation, where possible, to UK groups exhibiting overseas, financial hardship to companies and some ATO's.

In 2016 UKTI delayed the release of support to companies for the Tradeshow Access Programme for the 2016/17 financial year. This reduced the number of events and size, where UK groups were present at overseas exhibitions.
The new Department for International Trade has carried on where UKTI left off, again delaying - even further this time - the announcement of support for 2017/18 and then cutting the number of grants available to companies to 6 (from 12).
2018 has seen yet further delays and cuts to the number of grants.

Sponsors Alliance members reprent many sectors accross the UK (see member list) and in turn they help their members to export through overseas market information, UK organised groups at overseas exhibitions, providing advice and mentoring.

We take UK companies to export opportunities through exhibitions, missions, market research and general advice.

If the UK economy is to rebalanced and continue to grow it's exports, the govenment must deliver a consistant and were appropriate, properly funded, stratgery to encourage companies to export.

The Sponsors Alliance believes a funded Tradeshow Access Programme, that compares with our EU competitors, will significantly help SMEs to achieve this.

If you support the Sponsors Alliance position and wish to comment, please email the the Sponsors Alliance using the form below:-





Latest Articles

 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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