A major manufacturing and engineering network in Coventry and Warwickshire is being strengthened to help lead the sector.
The Coventry and Warwickshire Chamber of Commerce’s manufacturing, automotive and engineering network is partnering with UKTI (UK Trade & Investment), MAS (Manufacturing Advisory Service) and the EEF (The Manufacturers’ Organisation) to help drive the sector in the region which will further strengthen and support City Deal and route to business.
The move has come on the back of discussions between the Chamber and the Department for Business, Innovation and Skills.
Louise Bennett, chief executive of the Chamber, said the support from UKTI, MAS and EEF further strengthened the voice of manufacturing in Coventry and Warwickshire and meant even greater networking, trade and support would be available.
She said: “Manufacturing and engineering are key to economic growth in the UK, especially here in Coventry and Warwickshire.
“The Chamber’s network provides a strong voice for the sector in this region and our recent visit to Westminster, with a group of manufacturers, to meet Government ministers such as Vince Cable only serves to highlight that.
“We will continue to lead this network but in seamless partnership with UKTI, MAS and the EEF – three major organisations who are key to supporting us to drive forward manufacturing and engineering in Coventry and Warwickshire.
“Manufacturers in our region will benefit from face-to-face and technology-led services that focus on business growth, trade opportunities at home and abroad, sharing best practice. Crucially it will become an even stronger voice for this critical sector and also the network for City Deal, should the Coventry & Warwickshire bid be successful.
“Manufacturing and engineering is the very bedrock of what first formed the Chamber of Commerce in Coventry and Warwickshire 110 years ago and this latest development will mean even greater service and support for the companies in this crucial sector.”
The group will also examine issues raised in a West Midlands Chamber of Commerce commissioned manifesto on manufacturing in the region to see where it can further support companies in the sector.
Richard Halstead, of EEF, said: “By working together our organisations can bring a significant multiplier in terms of the services we can offer to support manufacturers in the West Midlands.
“In particular our EEF expertise in employment law, HR and skills, health and safety, leadership and management, development and manufacturing support which can be tailored to the needs of individual companies can bring wide-ranging benefits, especially to small and medium sized businesses.”
Chris White, MP for Warwick and Leamington, said: “I am delighted that the Coventry and Warwickshire Chamber of Commerce is now partnering with the MAS and EEF to deliver a full service to help manufacturers, engineers and automotive businesses in our area.
“These businesses are the backbone of our local economy and have the potential to deliver jobs and growth for the years ahead and I am pleased that this new service will be targeted at these sectors.”
Paul Noon, Regional Director of UKTI, said: “UKTI is delighted to be working with this unique network in Coventry and Warwickshire and to ensure this sub-region enjoys its rightful share of international success.”
Lorraine Holmes, Chief Executive of the West Midlands Manufacturing Consortium (WMCC), is responsible for delivering the Manufacturing Advisory Service (MAS) in the region. She added her support:
“We have to create the right climate to help our manufacturers grow and the best way of achieving this is to strengthen working partnerships with key organisations like the EEF, UKTI and Coventry and Warwickshire Chamber.
“This way we can ensure companies in the area get easy access to the best possible support that will help them shape strategy, overcome business issues, create new products, improve efficiencies and develop their supply chains. All of this equates to a more vibrant sector that will create new jobs.
“The Coventry & Warwickshire Manufacturing, Auto & Engineering Network is an important and positive step forward that epitomises the spirit of collaboration required.”