Programme WIN : Growth opportunity for Shropshire SME Manufacturers

Hitherbest, Heath Hill Industrial Estate, Heath Hill, Dawley, Telford

Oxford Innovation Advice are delighted to announce that they have successfully contracted with Shropshire Council to mobilise and deliver a continuation of their previously successful Manufacturing Growth Programme with funding from the UK Shared Prosperity Fund (UKSPF).

Promoted as the Shropshire Manufacturing Growth Programme, the offer provides high-quality business support services that enables Shropshire SMEs to grow by identifying, understanding and removing their barriers to growth.

The programme will enhance the local ecosystem of the region by helping SMEs to improve their productivity, competitiveness, sustainability, create jobs or adopt new products or services.

Support will be tailored to each manufacturing business with advice from a dedicated, experienced Manufacturing Growth Manager and through the use of a comprehensive business diagnostic tool, developed by Oxford Innovation Advice; GROWTHmapper.

Previous delivery of the successful Manufacturing Growth Programme (MGP), funded by the European Regional Development Fund (ERDF), resulted in more than 70 businesses within Shropshire receiving bespoke support and grant funding to implement an improvement project.

Jane Galsworthy, Managing Director of Oxford Innovation Advice said: “We are delighted to have won this contract so we can continue to provide expert advice to manufacturing businesses and deliver economic prosperity in Shropshire.

“As a result of MGP, we were able to support the creation of more than 80 new roles within manufacturing businesses and support their development of around 30 new products/service offerings. It is now more important than ever that SME manufacturers have access to specialist support to continue building their resilience and underpin growth.”

Guided by their local Manufacturing Growth Manager, manufacturing business will undertake a diagnostic (GROWTHmapper) to assess their needs and develop a tailored action plan setting out short, medium and long term improvement goals.

These action plans will provide manufacturers with clear areas of improvement, and SMEs will receive grant funding that covers up to 40% of the cost of implementing an improvement project with an external expert.

In addition to providing hands on business support, the programme will connect the SMEs with wider support opportunities to maximise their growth potential.

Councillor Mark Jones, Shropshire Council’s Cabinet member for growth and regeneration said, “It’s always great to hear about funding success stories, and I congratulate the team at Oxford Innovation Advice on their successful application.

“The UK Shared Prosperity Fund will provide £2.6 billion of funding for local investment by March 2025, and we aim to improve pride in place and increase life chances across Shropshire, by investing in communities and place, supporting local business, and people and skills.”

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