The region’s production sector has secured a boost after the Manufacturing Advisory Service secured £12 million funding to help the sector compete and make the most of global opportunities over the next two years.
The funding, which is from Advantage West Midlands and the European Regional Development Fund, will secure the extension of the support service in the region until 2012.
It is anticipated that the dedicated support organisation will assist more than 3,000 companies in introducing lean manufacturing techniques, developing new products, targeting new business opportunities and improving their supply chain.
There will also be more money available to roll-out recently launched initiatives focused on embracing advanced manufacturing and low carbon opportunities.
Simon Griffiths, chief executive of the Manufacturing Advisory Service – West Midlands (MAS-WM), said: “Manufacturers in the region have been hit particularly hard by the recession and having access to specialist support that delivers real bottom line benefits will be crucial in helping them emerge successfully from the downturn.”
He continued: “Advantage West Midlands has once again signalled its commitment to the sector and the funding will immediately be channelled into helping companies improve processes and develop innovative products that will ensure a sustainable future for industry.”
Mr Griffiths said MAS-WM has a proven track-record in supporting the region’s manufacturing base, supporting more than 6,000 businesses and adding £250 million to their turnovers since its introduction in 2002.
Its services – all delivered by experienced advisers – range from immediate impartial advice through the telephone hotline to interactive-best practice workshops and in-company reviews to highlight performance enhancing opportunities.
Debra Blisson, Advantage West Midlands’ director of enterprise, said: “The £12 million contract extension is evidence of our commitment to manufacturing in the region and our belief that a stronger manufacturing sector means a stronger and more prosperous West Midlands economy.
“We know to succeed in the modern global marketplace we need to up-skill, to innovate and to embrace enterprise. MAS-WM will continue to provide that expertise and ensure West Midlands’ manufacturing competes more effectively on the world stage and begins a new industrial renaissance for the region.”