Unlocking SME Manufacturers Potential: The Warwickshire Manufacturing Growth Programme

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

As a branch of the £4.6 million Business Growth Warwickshire Programme, developed and commissioned jointly by Warwickshire County Council, North Warwickshire Borough Council, Nuneaton and Bedworth Borough Council, Rugby Borough Council, Stratford-upon-Avon District Council and Warwick District Council, the Warwickshire Manufacturing Growth Programme (MGP), has been designed to propel Warwickshire manufacturing SMEs to new heights by identifying and eliminating barriers to growth.

Focusing on enhancing the local economic landscape, the program seeks to improve SME productivity, bolster competitiveness, foster sustainability, increase digitalisation, create job opportunities, and encourage the adoption of innovative products and services.

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 and unlock further potential of manufacturing businesses in Warwickshire.

“As a result of the original MGP, we were able to support the creation of new roles within the important manufacturing industry and support their development of new products and services. In the current environment, it is more important than ever before that small businesses have access to specialist support to build a platform for sustainable growth.”

The programme will support more than 250 manufacturing SMEs in Warwickshire, with each business receiving tailored support from a dedicated, local and highly experienced Manufacturing Growth Manager.

With the use of Oxford Innovation Advice’s comprehensive business diagnostic tool, GROWTHmapper, the Manufacturing Growth Manager will be able to develop a bespoke action plan setting out short, medium and long term improvement goals and ensure that the businesses receive the specialised assistance they need.

70 of the SME manufacturers participating in the program also stand to benefit from grant funding, receiving £500 towards a business improvement project, working alongside industry experts to deliver added value projects.

Previous delivery of the successful Manufacturing Growth Programme, funded by the European Regional Development Fund (ERDF), was positively received by over 240 SME Warwickshire businesses.

Warwickshire is a major UK centre of design, manufacturing, and engineering, working across many sectors from aerospace and automotive to food and drink and construction materials, and is home to two of the UK’s nine catapult centres, at The MTC at Ansty and WMG at the University of Warwick. The county is home to major blue-chip global manufacturers underpinned by a unique SME supply chain that this new programme is designed to support.

Michelle Connor, one of the Manufacturing Growth Managers for this enhanced programme, commented on her time with the programme: “Our work on the previous Manufacturing Growth Programme was a great example of how targeted business support can help manufacturers unlock new opportunities that enable the business to grow.

“The new Warwickshire MGP will allow us to continue delivering the specialist support that produces positive outcomes for SMEs across Warwickshire”

Cllr Martin Watson, Warwickshire County Council’s Portfolio Holder for Economy & Place, said, “The manufacturing industry in Warwickshire and the wider region is long established and we are thrilled to be able to work in partnership with our district and borough councils and Oxford Innovation Advice to deliver a new Manufacturing Growth Programme.”

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

To find out more, please visit www.warwickshire-mgp.co.uk

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Oxford Innovation Advice offers Insights into SME needs and policy effectiveness for policy makers, funders and business support commissioners. It draws on our 30 years’ experience of delivering positive economic growth by enabling scale-ups to achieve their full potential. Each edition concludes with an ‘Implications for funders and Policy makers’ section.

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