The coronavirus crisis has left many manufacturers on a cliff edge and in need of government intervention, Make UK has warned.
The industry body says that as COVID-19 is putting a growing number of firms on the brink of collapse as production levels continue to fall.
In response, Make UK is asking the government to step in with direct state support to ensure the short-term survival of firms.
It said support should especially be targeted at the aerospace, car making and steel sectors.
The latest figures show that manufacturing continued to decline in May, although it was recovering from April’s record low.
The IHS Markit/CIPS Purchasing Managers’ Index (PMI) for the sector gave a reading of 40.7 for May.
This is up from 32.6 a month earlier, when the COVID-19 lockdown brought Britain’s economy to an effective standstill.
Stephen Phipson, Make UK’s Chief Executive, said: ‘We are now in such uncharted territory that what would until recently been thought of as unthinkable is now very much the reality.
‘While the support schemes in operation are providing significant support to the economy, there are some sectors and companies who are fundamentally sound businesses and were trading positively before the pandemic.
‘Instead, however, they have now been driven to the cliff edge by the nature of this crisis and may not survive without direct government intervention.’