UPDATED: Support scheme launched for manufacturers

Posted on 12 Dec 2014 by Victoria Fitzgerald

The government has announced the launch of the Business Growth Service which consolidates GrowthAccelerator and the Manufacturing Advisory Service (MAS) along with schemes from the Intellectual Property Office (IP Audits) and the Design Council (Design Mentoring) into a single service.

The Business Growth Service aims to make it easier for businesses with the potential, capability and capacity to improve and grow to access expert advice and support.

The vision is to provide the leaders of businesses with expertise, insight and networks needed to overcome barriers and achieve their goals. Tailored packages of support will help businesses with developing new ideas; leadership and management skills; manufacturing; exporting; accessing finance and building networks.

Business and Enterprise Minister, Matt Hancock commented: “Small businesses told us the support available was too disjointed, so we have joined it together through out new Business Growth Service, which will provide a tailored package of support to thousands of firms each year.”

Businesses that require export support will be referred from the Business Growth Service to UK Trade & Invest and UK Export Finance. The service is also closely linked to InnovateUK and the British Business Bank.

The Business Growth Service builds on the successes of existing services GrowthAccelerator and MAS, both of which are delivering tangible growth.

Together, GrowthAccelerator and MAS are on target to deliver at least £3.4bn of economic growth (GVA), create 78,000 new jobs, and in the case of MAS, safeguard a further 50,000 jobs.

Firms supported by GrowthAccelerator are growing over four times faster than the average small and medium sized business. Since January 2012 MAS has helped around 17,250 SME manufacturers improve their productivity and address barriers to growth in both individual firms and within supply chains.

Leveraging support from the GrowthAccelerator and MAS has seen PCT Metalmex exceed £5m turnover for the first time in its history. The provider of pressed components, profiling and fabrication services has been working with MAS for several years on lean manufacturing, supplier matching and re-shorting a new contract due to be delivered overseas.

Extolling the virtues of a joined-up approach, the company’s MD, James Harding-Terry noted: “When you are a growing business you look for every bit of expertise…we had specialist manufacturing assistance to start off with followed by help to deliver our three-year strategic plan.

“This involved leadership and management training for 10 of our staff and signposting to other funding opportunities. The end result is an increase in sales and putting in place the platform for 30% growth in 2015 and the recruitment of more apprentices.”

Grant Thornton UK LLP, which is currently responsible for GrowthAccelerator and MAS, will deliver the Business Growth Service with its sub-contractors.

If you are interested in accessing support from the Business Growth Service, click here.