The Manufacturing Growth Programme (MGP), which is funded by the European Regional Development Fund (ERDF) and designed and delivered by Oxford Innovation Advice, has delivered more than eighty strategic reviews to firms in the region - despite being in the midst of the pandemic.
Specialist assistance from dedicated Manufacturing Growth Managers has helped companies to improve quality performance, access new markets, develop new products and address environmental concerns.
In a deal agreed with D2N2 Local Enterprise Partnership, more than £130,000 of grants have been given out and this has been matched with £260,000 of private sector investment as manufacturing SMEs begin to bounce back from the effects of Covid-19.
Encouragingly, management teams still have until December 2022 to tap into MGP and make the most of a further £360,000 of support.
“Derbyshire and Nottingham manufacturers are extremely resilient, especially with what has been thrown at them over the last two years,” explained David Caddle, Regional Manager of the Manufacturing Growth Programme.
“Despite the pandemic, companies are still looking to grow sales and achieve competitive advantage and that’s where our team come in, using the GROWTHMapper benchmarking tool to identify pain points within the business.
“We can then use this to inform the specialist support they need, delivering grants that can help with a third of the total cost of an improvement project up to a maximum of £10,000.”
He went on to add: “There are still grants available to support the industrial bounce back and to help companies overcome the widespread supply chain and inflationary pressures we are seeing.”
Retford-based Trans-Sport.tv (also known as Trans-Sport Limited) is one of the companies that has tapped into the Manufacturing Growth Programme so far.
The media and broadcasting events contractor, which designs, makes and supplies structures, sets and rigging to broadcast industry clients, has made several operational improvements as well as designing a new diversification strategy to help it offset quieter periods of activity.
It is an approach that is already paying off, with the firm supplying bespoke safety screens for workplaces and manufacturing stages for new clients.
New installation contracts have also been won for Ant & Dec’s Limitless Win, game show Quizness and an extension to support the BBC Antiques Roadshow.
Helen Cope, Director of Trans-Sport Limited stated: “The Manufacturing Growth Programme has been so helpful, and the process is very straightforward. If your business has a genuine desire for manufacturing growth, then go for it!
“We did it and we are now trading above pre-pandemic levels and have taken on an extra four new staff to cope with demand.”