A new pilot Manufacturing Growth Programme has been announced by the North East Local Enterprise Partnership ( North East LEP), aimed at manufacturing SMEs in Durham, Tyne and Wear and Northumberland. The scheme will help senior managers within manufacturing companies assess and identify barriers to growth, and work with them to improve business performance and increase sales.
John Barnett (pictured), member of the North East LEP’s Business Growth Board and Operations Director and European Head of Manufacturing at Calsonic Kansei explains that the programme is designed to stimulate the growth of aspiring manufacturing businesses across the North East through in-depth one-to-one support from manufacturing growth experts.
“This initiative, designed as a sister project to the North East Growth Hub, will be an important and tangible part of our support to businesses in the region. As a member of the North East LEP’s Business Growth Board I would like to see as many small and mid-sized manufacturing companies with growth ambitions get involved and work with our expert consultants to unlock their potential and drive their continued success. Manufacturing capability lies at the heart of this region’s future economic prosperity and I am particularly pleased the LEP is investing in its development.”
This new programme will run for an initial 12 month period. Working with over 80 growing businesses, the pilot programme is set to create 160 new manufacturing jobs. It forms part of the North East LEP’s strategic economic plan to foster growth within key sectors of the economy in order to create more and better jobs. The programme could be extended if this pilot phase proves successful.
The programme will be delivered by the BE Group – a North East based business services provider, and Improvement Architecture, a specialist business improvement consultancy.
Alastair MacColl, BE Group’s Chief Executive, says the programme will link to other government-led support for manufacturing and engineering businesses:
“We are really pleased to be delivering the North East LEP’s Manufacturing Growth Programme. In recent years we have seen great results from the ‘Let’s Grow’ Regional Growth Fund grant scheme, and we are sure that SME companies will also benefit significantly from the strategic level insight and advice delivered through this new programme. We are looking forward to linking this exciting programme with the fantastic advice and support already available through our regional sector clusters and the wider North East Growth Hub community of business support and finance organisations.”
Graham Sleep, Founder and MD of Improvement Architecture, commented:
“Having worked with small and medium sized manufacturing businesses over many years our team has developed a good understanding of the common challenges they face, which can prevent them from reaching their true potential revenues and profit levels. We will be using a unique model to highlight relative strengths of the companies we’re supporting, so they can become more competitive, productive and profitable.”
If you are a small manufacturing business with big growth ambitions, please contact Tracey Watson for more details on how to apply.