Sharing in Growth to boost UK aerospace exports

Posted on 15 Mar 2017 by Jonny Williamson

Aerospace and defence specialists, Currock Engineering has announced plans to double its sales over the next next five years after being selected to join Sharing in Growth, the government-backed competitiveness improvement programme.

It’s hoped that joining the Sharing in Growth (SiG) programme will see Currock Engineering further improve its productivity, processes and skills, and win more contracts in the growing global aerospace market.

The family-owned, Chelmsford-based firm has increased sales by almost 40% over the past two years, and counts aerospace giants, MBDA Systems, Leonardo and BAE Systems among its customers.

With turnover of around £7m and a more than 70-strong workforce, Currock produces machined components for aircraft such as the new F-35 Joint Strike Fighter, F-22 Raptor, Gripen, Apache, Seawolf and Blackhawk.

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The SiG programme, which attracts £1.1m from the Regional Growth Fund (RGF) for each participating company, will help develop the company’s capability, productivity and competitiveness to secure more business and jobs in the UK.

Currock chairman and CEO, Tony Murray explained: “To support our growth strategy and maintain strong customer relationships, we have invested in the latest technology and machinery and in a third business unit.

“We now plan to work with Sharing in Growth to develop our skills and performance so that we can provide the highest levels of quality, delivery and customer service and ensure we are productive and competitive to win more business and create new jobs.”

SiG’s initial focus will be on supporting Currock to increase its lean and continuous improvement activities, drive supply chain improvement and develop a new product introduction process.

Established in 2013, the SiG programme is endorsed by Airbus, BAE Systems, Bombardier, GE, GKN, Leonardo, Lockheed Martin, and Rolls-Royce. To date suppliers on the SiG programme have secured more than £1.6bn in contracts and around 2,600 jobs.

The intense four-year SiG training and development programme is focused on leadership, culture and operational excellence delivered by SiG’s own 120-strong team of lean coaches, as well as a bank of experts including The University of Cambridge’s Institute for Manufacturing (IfM), Deloitte, Industry Forum and the National Physical Laboratory (NPL).

This fully integrated change programme makes normally unaffordable blue chip expertise accessible to smaller but ambitious suppliers because the RGF pays for the training and development.

Sharing in Growth CEO, Andy Page commented: “Like many of the companies that Sharing in Growth is supporting in the UK aerospace supply chain, Currock recognises that aerospace market growth presents a huge opportunity for companies who are globally competitive, particularly in the face of aggressive bidding from low cost countries.

“Typically this means our target is to improve productivity by 50% and remove around 20% of costs to help companies fulfil their world-class manufacturing and business ambitions. With our support, the first 37 companies on the programme have secured over £1.6bn in contracts to date – around 20% of which is for direct export. Consequently we are well on target to hit our ultimate objective of safeguarding 10,000 UK jobs by 2022.”