Nationwide Yorkshire SMEs
Rebecca Wayman

Over £11m funding now available for Yorkshire SMEs through unique programme

Regional SME manufacturers could take advantage of an £11.8m business support boost from today (May 10).

This is said to be dedicated to helping businesses grow and address key skills issues.

The Manufacturing Growth Programme, which is funded by ERDF and delivered by Economic Growth Solutions (part of Oxford Innovation), has been extended until September 2021.

Its aim is to help a further 2,400 companies to tackle barriers to growth, with the potential of creating 2,500 new jobs.

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… we have achieved that.”

Castleford’s Nationwide Curtain Makers has accessed support from the Manufacturing Growth Programme.

Going forward, support can be used for many improvement projects, like continuous improvements, change, environmental and sustainability, leadership and management, marketing, people and skills, productivity and capacity, quality and strategy.

A new business diagnostic and action plan will be provided as part of the new programme, alongside improvement grants starting from £1,000.

Martin added: “Over the last two-and-a-half years we have helped more than 2,000 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 3,000 jobs.

“Supporting Yorkshire manufacturers is not easy and you need a tailored approach, delivered by experts who understand what it is like working in industry.

“The Local Enterprise Partnerships (LEPs) and local Growth Hubs have seen first-hand the value we add to firms in their respective areas and this has resulted in their commitment to support us for another two and a half years.

“To make the most of this, we have joined forces with Oxford Innovation to deliver the extension of the programme and this will make us the country’s largest business support organisation, primarily focusing on manufacturing.”

The Manufacturing Growth Programme is available to small to medium-sized manufacturers who have an intention to grow, increase competitiveness and improve productivity - all while increasing turnover.

It is available to 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.

Dean Barnes, regional director of the Manufacturing Growth Programme, concluded: “The £11.8m extension will provide support to more SME manufacturing businesses [and] having the opportunity to add further value to those companies already supported.”

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