The Manufacturing Growth Programme (MGP), which has already supported over 600 companies in other areas of the East Midlands, has agreed a deal with D2N2 Local Enterprise Partnership to provide specialist assistance to firms in the two counties.
Management teams can now access a dedicated Manufacturing Growth Manager, who will use the GROWTHMapper benchmarking tool to identify pain points within the business, before delivering grants that can help support a third of the total cost of the improvement project up to a maximum of £10,000.
This new support covers manufacturing efficiencies, strategic marketing, new product development and leadership and management, with the programme due to help more than 85 business between now and June 2023.
It is anticipated that this manufacturing driven assistance will create 111 new jobs and 28 new product launches.
Martin Coats, managing director of the MGP, said: “This is excellent news for SME manufacturers in Derbyshire and Nottinghamshire and comes at a time when they will need access to industry specialists to overcome issues around Brexit and Covid-19.
“We have proven how successful this type of support, delivered by experts from the manufacturing sector, can be in Leicestershire, Lincolnshire and Northamptonshire. Across these three areas we have created nearly 700 new jobs and completed 805 improvement projects, helping many firms fulfil their potential.”
He continued: “Thanks to the backing of the D2N2 LEP, we can now give this targeted assistance to companies locally, making sure they are competitive in the sectors they have an undeniable edge in, including aerospace, automotive, food and drink, medical and rail.
“Each project is tailored to the individual company, so it has the biggest impact. Our Manufacturing Growth Managers are also very well connected and can link in management teams to other business support, funding or even supply chain opportunities.”
Mickleover-based Devtank is one of the companies that has welcomed the support boost, citing the need for manufacturers to have tailored assistance that will allow them to scale-up.
The open source test and measurement business currently supplies clients in defence, green energy, space and telecoms and has developed a range of products that help businesses automate their production testing and smart monitoring solutions.
“We are scaling rapidly and just about to launch a dedicated product page/e-commerce shop on our website, not to mention looking at ways where we can maximise our recent approval as a design partner for the Raspberry Pi Foundation,” pointed out Tim Telford, Chief Technical Officer at Devtank.
“The Manufacturing Growth Programme coming to this region means the right support will be available for us at the right time and I'm sure it will be beneficial to many other local businesses at this time of real need during the covid-19 recovery phase.
“Having access to dedicated manufacturing support is essential in helping us thrive. The last few years has seen us develop a number of new products and we have reinvested every last penny and more into the business. Being able to secure grants and specialist external assistant to capitalise on this investment is great news and will enable us to take the next step.”
Frank Horsley, head of business & innovation at D2N2 LEP, added: “We are delighted to support the extension of the highly successful programme into our region.
“Manufacturing remains the historic bedrock of the D2N2 economy. If we are to transform into a more competitive, but greener economy, our manufacturers will need support to embrace the challenges of industrial digitalisation and net zero so that, similar to the first industrial revolution, we can lead the world.
“We look forward to bringing our strategic influence and partnership network to bear to ensure our businesses have the opportunity to benefit from the excellent support MGP can deliver.”
The MGP, which is funded by ERDF and delivered by Oxford Innovation Services, is open to all manufacturing SMEs in Derbyshire and Nottinghamshire that employ less than 250 people or have a turnover below £36m.