Small to medium-sized (SME) manufacturers across England will have access to an £11.8million business support boost.
The funding comes from the Manufacturing Growth Programme, which is funded by ERDF and delivered by Economic Growth Solutions (part of Oxford Innovation). The programme has been extended until September 2021 with the aim of helping a further 2400 companies to scale and improve.
An in-depth business diagnostic (via ‘GROWTHmapper’) and comprehensive action plan will be provided as part of the new programme, alongside improvement grants starting from £1000.
In response to company feedback, a series of manufacturing themed workshops have also been added and will be available from Summer 2019 to help bridge current skills needs within manufacturing businesses and support future skills requirements in line with Industry 4.0.
Martin Coats, Operations Director of Oxford Innovation, said: “In October 2016, we were given the task of setting up a programme capable of delivering over £10.3m of dedicated business support to SME manufacturers and I’m delighted to say that, thanks to the hard work of the staff and the Manufacturing Growth Managers on the ground, we have achieved that.
“Over the course of the last two and a half years we have helped more than 2000 SMEs to identify and overcome barriers to their growth and this has added millions of pounds to the local economy and created in excess of 3000 jobs, safeguarding thousands more in the process.”
The Manufacturing Growth Programme is available to small to medium-sized businesses in the West Midlands, Yorkshire and Humber, parts of the East Midlands, the South East and now within the Solent and Enterprise M3 regions.