£6 million programme extension to help small manufacturers across the Midlands

· The SME Group at WMG, University of Warwick, has secured a £6m extension to their programme to help small manufacturing companies in the East and West Midlands

· Funded by the European Regional Development Fund (ERDF) and the High Value Manufacturing Catapult at WMG, to create a much-needed support for Midlands manufacturers

· The programme will work collaboratively with a further 250 manufacturing companies across the Midlands to solve manufacturing challenges, to improve productivity and boost competitiveness

· Support is provided from a dedicated and highly industry experienced team with expertise in materials and manufacturing, sustainability, digital manufacturing and business transformation

The programme delivered by the SME Group at WMG, University of Warwick has been a major success in the West Midlands over the last 2 years, helping over 100 companies, develop 71 new products and processes, from automation and productivity plans through to the zero emission technologies of tomorrow.

Companies, including Genius Facades, a construction company in Wolverhampton, who gained a 15% increase in productivity, thanks to the team helping them by digitising their factory floor.

Another example includes the team helping Power Panels Electrical, in Walsall, win £3m of contracts in the Niche Vehicles sector.

Given the success of the programme, the team have been awarded a further £6m from to take them through to March 2023, meaning the team has gone from a 2 year £5m programme, to an £11m 5 ½ year programme. This extension will enable the team to operate from Wolverhampton and Worcestershire in the West, to Loughborough and Luton in the East Midlands.

Over the next 2 ½ years they will help more than 350 SMEs benefit from the latest in digital manufacturing technologies and thinking, helping them become more productive, competitive and sustainable. Fully funded support from 2 to 15 days is available for eligible small manufacturers.

Dr Mark Swift, head small business programmes at WMG, University of Warwick comments:

“We are thrilled to have the manufacturing competitiveness programme extended, and look forward to being able to help hundreds of small businesses across the midlands to transform their business and become more sustainable.

“The support we offer will be especially helpful in light of Covid-19, as after months of lockdown businesses can be helped to get back on their feet and thrive.”

“We are here, ready to help our region’s manufacturing companies; to make manufacturing technology and thinking work for you, to help our businesses to grow become more productive and sustainable and ultimately make more in the UK.”

If you are a local manufacturing company please get in touch, the team would love to hear from you. E-mail them at: wmgsme@warwick.ac.uk