Sussex manufacturers are being invited to join a new Manufacturing Forum to share experiences and to help grow their businesses.
The Sussex Manufacturing Forum is reaching out to around 3,500 manufacturing businesses based in East and West Sussex and in Brighton and Hove which between them contribute around £4bn to the local economy and employ an estimated 50,000 people.
With the inaugural event planned in Crawley next Wednesday, the Forum aims to provide Sussex- based manufacturers of all sizes and from all industry sectors with an opportunity to learn about techniques, practices and solutions that will benefit their business, while encouraging supply chain co-operation.
One of its founding members, Chris Coopey, said he hopes as many people from across the county as possible get involved.
“Whether companies make, assemble, design, grow, stitch, mill, extrude, turn, brew, weld or do anything else to make things, we want to hear from them,” said Mr Coopey, who is a manufacturing partner at Carpenter Box chartered accountants and tax advisers.
The free to attend forum event will provide businesses with network opportunities and the chance to share knowledge and set the agenda for future meetings.
It will also feature a keynote presentation by Geoff Edwards, chief operating officer of Queen’s Award winner Bowers & Wilkins Loudspeakers.
Mr Coopey added: “There is a widely held perception that as a nation we don’t ‘make’ anything anymore, but Sussex is home to world renowned businesses such as Rolls Royce Motor Cars, Ricardo, Thales, The Body Shop, Varian Medical Systems and B&W Loudspeakers.
“This local manufacturing industry is critical to the development of our local economy – creating jobs and wealth – while at the same time contributing to the government’s stated aim of rebalancing the UK economy.”