David Land, North East LEP Board member, discusses the Manufacturing Growth Programme.
As a Board Member at the North East LEP I’m often asked how we can encourage and support growth in the North East economy.
If we want to achieve the LEP’s ambition to create 100,000 more and better jobs by 2024, what approach should we be taking?
I believe SMEs are part of the answer. It might come as a surprise to learn that small businesses accounted for 99.3% of all private sector businesses at the start of 2015 and 99.9% were small or medium-sized*. SMEs are the backbone of our economy and if we want to see it flourish and grow, we need to help these businesses scale up.
The Manufacturing Growth Programme – part of the North East Growth Hub – is one of the ways the North East LEP is supporting SMEs to grow. Aimed specifically at SMEs operating in the manufacturing sector, the Manufacturing Growth Programme is designed to help businesses identify barriers to growth and work with them to improve business performance and increase sales.
The year-long programme was launched in July 2016 and we already have three businesses enrolled in the scheme. What we’re looking to achieve is to provide companies with longevity; a path to long-term success by giving them access to the right resources, quickly and effectively.
The Manufacturing Growth Programme places experts within participating businesses to help senior managers prepare and plan for growth. We see it very much as a mentoring role, sharing knowledge, experience and identifying the areas organisations need support with.
The programme covers all areas of manufacturing, from automotive and oil and gas to pharmaceuticals and textiles. It’s also open to SMEs of all shapes and sizes. We need to help the small businesses become medium sized businesses and larger SMEs to become the big businesses of tomorrow.
We’re only weeks into the programme but we’re already seeing tangible results.
We look forward to working with you.
North East LEP Board member