Following the successful delivery of a £10.3 million business-support programme, SME manufacturers have been told that an additional £11.8 million of business support has been made available to help another 2,400 companies to grow.
The Manufacturing Growth Programme (MGP), which is funded by ERDF and delivered by Economic Growth Solutions (part of Oxford Innovation), has — since October 2016 — helped more than 2,000 English SME manufacturers to make improvements by identifying, understanding and removing their barriers to growth.
More than 3,200 new jobs have been created as a result of the support provided by experienced Manufacturing Growth Managers, access to industry specialists and the opportunity to apply for improvement grants.
From April 2019, support can be used for an array of improvement projects, such as continuous improvements, change, environmental and sustainability, leadership and management, marketing, people and skills, and productivity.
Martin Coats, operations director of Oxford Innovation, said: “In October 2016, we had a business support programme to deliver.
“Working with the Local Enterprise Partnerships (LEPs) and local Growth Hubs to continually add value to SME manufacturing businesses across the country has resulted in their commitment to support us for another two and a half years.
“As a result of the successful delivery of MGP, we have joined forces with Oxford Innovation Services to deliver the extension of the programme.”
Dean Barnes, regional director of the Manufacturing Growth Programme, said: “The extension will allow us to provide enhanced support to more SME manufacturing businesses to grow, as well as having the opportunity to add more value and further develop those businesses we have already supported.
"MGP previously covered a large proportion of the country, and this remains the case — with a few minor changes.
“Unfortunately, the extension will no longer be able to support companies based in the New Anglia LEP region, although we will now be able to support those in the Enterprise M3 and Solent regions.”
Further details can be found at the Web site (www.manufacturing