REPORTS of an upturn in the manufacturing industry are being echoed by York-based Portakabin as the firm sees orders from the sector rise by almost 20 per cent in nine months.

Based at Monks Cross, and employing 800 people in York, bosses at Portakabin say they are enjoying a 19 per cent rise in orders alongside working on a variety of high profile projects.

Recent projects have included a research facility for the new International Institute for Nanocomposite Manufacturing at WMG at the University of Warwick and a 3,500m² interim office complex for Jaguar Land Rover, where rapid growth prompted the need for interim office accommodation for the car manufacturer’s sales and design teams.

The modular building specialist's increase in work mirrors national reports which revealed UK manufacturing output rose 4.4 per cent year-on-year in April, its fastest pace in three years according to the Office for National Statistics.

The latest survey of business conditions in engineering and manufacturing companies by EEF, the manufacturers’ organisation, described the manufacturing sector as having “started 2014 with a bang”, with the sector growing 1.4 per cent in the first quarter of this year, the strongest quarterly growth since 2010, and the fourth consecutive quarter of growth.

Regionally, Yorkshire and Humber was the second strongest area, with 50 per cent of companies saying output had increased.

Derek Carter, chief executive of the Portakabin Group, said: “Manufacturing has a vital role to play in the economic well-being of the UK and we are pleased to be helping other British manufacturers to move quickly as they develop and grow their businesses.”

Rising order numbers for Portakabin corresponds with an increase in activity in the manufacturing sector as the firm provides portable buildings for manufacturers, designed to reduce lead times for purpose-designed office accommodation, production control centres and amenity buildings, and ensure less disruption to manufacturing plants as the construction process if moved off site.

The recent order increase follows the last financial year, to June 2013, in which Portakabin saw an order value increase of 38 per cent compared to 2011/12.

The Portakabin Group is part of York-based Shepherd Group, and operates a number of modular brands including Portakabin, Yorkon, Foremans, Portaloo, Konstructa and Oecon.