Ken Teears, SAM Project Manager
Chloe Shakesby

University project adds £47.1m value to North East businesses with "critical" impact

A new report has found that a multi-million pound project from a North East university is having a “critical” impact on businesses in the area.

The Sustainable Advanced Manufacturing Project (SAM), which is one of the region’s largest investment programmes, was created by the University of Sunderland

The project aims to help businesses become more productive and sustainable, with phase one of the project - which ended in December 2020 - providing £800k in matched funding to hundreds of SMEs.

The report has found that an overall £47.1m gross value has been added to SAM participant businesses, with a 25.1 per cent growth in employment.

SAM has now received an additional £5.9m for its second phase, which will see it extended to 2023.

Ken Teears, SAM project manager, commented: “I’m absolutely delighted about the findings of the Interim Summative Assessment.

“We know day-in-day-out the difference our industrial experts make to companies and this report demonstrates the impact SAM Project is having on the region’s manufacturing SMEs and the impact on the North East economy.

“It’s a huge pat on the back and validates the confidence the North East LEP and Ministry of Housing, Communities and Local Government (MHCLG) have in SAM when they awarded us a £5.9m project extension for Phase Two, taking us up to the end of June 2023.

“What is more impressive is that these are the figures just for the end of Phase One. I cannot wait to see what impact we will have made by 2023.

“So, if you’re a manufacturing SME in the North East, get in touch and see how SAM Project can supercharge your productivity, innovation and growth.”

Jon Timmis, deputy vice chancellor (commercial), said: “The University of Sunderland is committed to supporting business innovation and growth across the North East.

“The phase one success of SAM not only demonstrates this commitment but sets a successful precedent on which we can further build.

“The continuation of this work is more vital than ever as we begin to look forward to the sector recovering from the pandemic.”

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