Support on hand to help manufacturers grow

Support on hand to help manufacturers grow
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Published: January 10th, 2022

Manufacturers across Herefordshire, Shropshire and Telford & Wrekin are being urged to take advantage of a hugely-successful programme and go for growth. 

Through the Manufacturing Growth Programme (MGP), small and medium sized manufacturers are offered help to grow by identifying, understanding and removing barriers to growth and enabling sustainable business improvement. 

New figures show that fully funded support from MGP has helped Marches businesses create more than 200 new jobs, receive £ 439,308 of grants and deliver £ 687,480 of private sector investment from October 2016 to November 2021. 

In the six months from April 1 to September 30 last year the MGP helped 16 separate businesses with expansion plans across the Marches  – offering grants of £45,506. 

It is supported across the region by the Marches Growth Hub – the Marches Local Enterprise Partnership’s highly-acclaimed business support service. 

Dave Courteen, Marches LEP Small Business Champion, said MGP offered a fantastic opportunity for manufacturing businesses which wanted to grow and create new jobs and opportunities. 

“This is a tried and tested programme which has a superb track record of achieving results for the businesses it has supported as these figures show. 

“Sometimes manufacturers just need a little extra help to pursue their own ambitions for growth and the MGP can offer that with industry-leading expertise, its GROWTHMapper diagnostic tool to identify where expansion is possible. A trusted Manufacturing Growth Manager will provide ongoing support and carry out a detailed action plan to help your business grow, and help with access to grants. 

“I would urge any manufacturing business which is looking to expand to contact the Marches Growth Hub to see just how the MGP could help them.” 

Companies already successfully helped by the MGP across the Marches include: 

  • White Heron Brands, Lyonshall, Herefordshire. The company saw sales increase and took on new staff after calling on MGP for help in improving its marketing and branding. MGP supported the company with a strategic business review and detailed advice which founder Jo Hilditch said she could not praise enough. 
  • Hobsons Brewery, Cleobury Mortimer  Hobsons has grown from its launch as a small microbrewery in 1993 into one of the leading breweries in the region, working with the MGP to access  support and grant funding. An MGP grant helped in the development of an effective digital sales solution to enhance their online business, whilst a second project created a bespoke integration for their cloud-based inventory management system to improve efficiency. Founder Nick Davis said: “The Manufacturing Growth Programme has enabled us to maximise efficiencies through the implementation of innovative digital software and an optimised e-commerce website. Without the programme we would have struggled to source the required funds to implement both projects.”  
  • Telford fabrication specialist Hitherbest. The company, which provides sheet metal/punching, folding and powder coating capabilities, has benefitted from expert advice from MGP to reduce its energy usage generating thousands of pounds of savings as well as environmental benefits. It also accessed funding to develop a robust business growth plan and accurate financial forecasts, helping it expand still further. 

The programme also helps manufacturers identify opportunities and create plans for growth and improvement by connecting them with the best external experts to implement those plans.  A third of the cost of implementing the plans will be covered through a growth/improvement grant with a maximum project value of £10,000. 

The programme – which is funded by the European Regional Development Fund – remains open until December 2022 and is designed and delivered by Oxford Innovation Advice across 18 LEPs, including the Marches. 

For more information about the scheme and how it can help your business visit https://www.marchesgrowthhub.co.uk/support/manufacturing-growth-programme/ 

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