A £19 million programme to support companies in the automotive and aerospace supply chains in the West Midlands to take advantage of market growth has been launched.

The West Midlands and Liverpool City Region Programme will help companies in the four local enterprise partnership areas of Greater Birmingham and Solihull, Coventry and Warwickshire, the Black Country and Liverpool City Region.

It forms part of the Advanced Manufacturing Supply Chain Initiative (AMSCI), a £125 million national programme launched in April 2012 to improve the global competitiveness of the advanced manufacturing supply chain.

The programme will provide loans and grants to pay for capital equipment, working capital, R&D activity which improves manufacturing equipment, systems and processes, and specific training and skills development.

The programme is managed by Finance Birmingham with Birmingham City Council as the accountable body and provides minimum funding of £100,000.

Paul Heaven, Greater Birmingham & Solihull Local Enterprise Partnership board director with responsibility for access to finance, praised the impact of the programme.

He said: “The financial support this programme offers is crucial and will encourage business innovation and ensure local manufacturing receives the support it needs to grow.”

Richard Hutchins, Coventry and Warwickshire LEP director said: “A healthy supply chain is vital to help our manufacturers compete internationally, meet demand and continue to create growth and prosperity for the region and the UK.”

* For further information about the AMSCI programme visit www.financebirmingham.com