Small to medium-sized manufacturers have created more than 1000 jobs in the last 18 months after tapping into a dedicated business support initiative.
The Manufacturing Growth Programme (MGP), funded by the European Regional Development Fund (ERDF) and delivered by Economic Growth Solutions (EGS), has helped companies across the UK to grow, develop new products and improve their processes and quality.
This has led to 1070 new jobs, with an additional 580 positions expected to be created once ongoing projects are completed. By the end of February, £2.7 million of grant contributions have been made, with money in place to support another 1500 firms between now and March 2019.
Martin Coats, managing director of EGS, explained: “UK manufacturing has just posted its ninth consecutive month of growth and our SMEs are at the forefront of leading this expansion.
“It is great to see we are playing our role with our manufacturing experts able to get under the skin of what support firms need to grow. We understand the language MDs are talking and can guide them on making the right decisions, before bringing in specialists on specific issues they are facing or opportunities they’re looking to explore.”
He continued: “More than 2000 companies have now been assisted and we’ve created more than 1000 new jobs across the UK; those are apprentices, operatives, experienced engineers, R&D specialists.”
“We still have £2.5 million of grants to deliver and we want manufacturers to come forward and see how they can take advantage of the assistance on offer. It’s never been easier, as the process is quick and the scope of support can be tailored to the exact needs of the business.”
MGP was set up to fill the void left by the Manufacturing Advice Service (MAS) by providing access to specialist assistance to help manufacturers to grow and improve. This is being achieved through an 18-strong network of experienced manufacturing growth managers (MGM), access to industry specialists and the opportunity to apply for an average grant of £1400, rising to a maximum £3,500.
Support can be used for improvement projects, such as leadership and management, R&D, lean manufacturing, productivity and capacity, quality systems and supply chain development.
Dean Barnes, regional director at EGS, continued: “When firms come to us they receive a strategic review from one of our MGMs that determines what barriers are in the way and what support is needed to help them reach their potential.
“Since October 2016, the most common areas of expertise delivered has been around marketing, understanding new market opportunities, boosting quality and ensuring the right strategy is in place to deliver growth. We can also help with continuous improvement and helping firms improve their environmental performance.”
Manufacturing Growth Programme www.manufacturinggrowthprogramme.co.uk