MANUFACTURING businesses in the Peterborough can receive expert advice, hands-on support and training to help boost their performance and survive the downturn, thanks to a significant new £1.32 million investment.
The East of England’s Manufacturing Advisory Service (MAS), which last year supported over 300 businesses, is set to benefit from an additional £1.32 million of European Regional Development Funding (ERDF) which has been secured by the East of England Development Agency (EEDA) to enhance an already successful service.
Benefits to businesses who receive MAS support is typically valued in excess of £100,000, and it is hoped that the new funds, which brings the total business support package to over £4.4 million, will enable the programme to deliver its support to even more companies across the region. MAS is also one of the products to be unveiled in the East of England under the Government’s new ‘Solutions for Business’ portfolio, available via Business Link.
Richard Ellis, EEDA chair, said: “Manufacturing remains a vital cog in the engine of the region’s economy, employing over 300,000 people through the supply chains. But companies within the industry are facing the combined threat of tough economic conditions and increasing global competition. It’s therefore essential that manufacturers innovate to survive.
“MAS can play an absolutely pivotal role in keeping our region’s manufacturing core competitive, by implementing step-changes like better use of energy and resources within businesses. The additional ERDF investment is a really important boost to the region’s MAS programme and the scope of specialist resource-efficient advice that will be available to businesses in the region.”
The new European investment comes from the region’s unique low-carbon ERDF Competitiveness programme which will enhance the focus on resource efficiency advice within the MAS programme. The new integrated service will also provide innovation and design support, in addition to the already established Manufacturing Advisory Service, to improve market competitiveness.
MAS, delivered in the East of England by PA Consulting, employ qualified manufacturing professionals to work alongside businesses – diagnosing areas for improvement, subsidising support to make necessary changes, and referring cases to other specialist industry help where appropriate.
Neville Prior, chairman of the Manufacturing Advisory Board, said: “It can often be small changes and adjustments that make the biggest difference to a manufacturing company’s bottom-line. But it’s often difficult to see areas for improvement if you are living and breathing the business on a daily basis. This is where the value of independent and impartial advisors can really add the value, and the new European funding which EEDA have secured will help us provide these services to even more businesses in the region.”
MAS East is just one example of publicly-funded business support featured on EEDA’s Business Map. Inspired by the design of an underground map, the Business Map is exclusively available to businesses in the East of England, and is helping businesses find all sorts of support during these challenging economic times.
Visit www.bizmapeast.co.uk to find out more.