West Midland business leaders yesterday welcomed plans for a £250 million boost for manufacturing.
The Department of Trade and Industry yesterday said the Government- backed Manufacturing Advisory Service had been told to generate over £250 million in added value for manufacturing companies over the next three years.
It called the scheme "tough and ambitious" but added that the MAS had been "highly successful" since it was founded in 2002.
Industry Minister Alun Michael said: "The key to the success of MAS has been providing a service for manufacturers by manufacturers, and reaching those small firms that in the past have been hard to contact.
" The service has achieved much more than we dared to hope, which gives us good cause to be even more ambitious in helping manufacturers in the future.
"This target will help motivate MAS into delivering even greater benefits for manufacturing industry, becoming an even more effective, accessible and comprehensive service for manufacturers in the UK."
The president of Birmingham Chamber of Commerce and Industry, Simon Topman, who is also the owner/manager of Acme Whistles in Hockley, said the statement was good news.
"In our view the MAS has been a very successful Government initiative. Beyond a shadow of a doubt it has helped a great number of businesses."
Companies helped by the MAS have on average achieved a 25 per cent improvement in productivity, increased stock turnover by 33 per cent, cut scrap and defects by 26 per cent and improved their delivery performance by 26 per cent.
The Government recently committed further support for MAS, with funding increasing to £34 million for the next three year term.