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Supporting the Northwest’s Manufacturing Sector
The Northwest Regional Development Agency (NWDA) works to build the competitiveness of our region’s businesses, people, places – the vital ingredients of economic success. The Northwest’s manufacturing sector is the biggest in the UK and is a major generator of wealth, contributing £19.6 billion to the regional economy and employing 400,000 people. The Agency supports the manufacturing sector in order to: • Increase the capability and capacity of manufacturing businesses to innovate in order to improve their productivity and competitiveness. • Help companies in the manufacturing supply chain to win more business from Original Equipment Manufacturers (OEMs) in the region. • Improve the image of manufacturing as an attractive and modern career, particularly among young people. • Capitalise on strengths and opportunities in emerging sectors including nuclear energy and phototonics.
Key NWDA Achievements for the Manufacturing Sector: Manufacturing Advisory Service - Achieved cost savings of £781 million for manufacturing companies in the region and safeguarded or created over 9,200 jobs since 2002. The service, delivered by The Manufacturing Institute, provides practical hands-on support, advice and workshops to improve manufacturing companies processes and innovation. Aerospace Supply Chain Excellence – Helped aerospace suppliers to win orders worth over £200 million and safeguarded or created over 300 jobs in participating companies. The programme, delivered by the Northwest Aerospace Alliance, helps SMEs to become world class by providing specific training, quality assurance and improvements across all aspects of their business. Automotive Supply Chain – Helped automotive suppliers to secure orders worth £52 million and safeguarded or created over 500 jobs. The Northwest automotive sector is the second largest in the UK and includes three of the world’s most prestigious motoring brands; Bentley, Jaguar/Landrover and Vauxhall. The Automotive Supply Chain Development Programme, delivered by the Northwest Automotive Alliance, helps SMEs to improve their expertise, capabilities and knowledge across all parts of their business. All three projects have been so successful they have all been extended.
“The NWDA is making a real difference to manufacturing companies across the Northwest. It has a robust strategy for the sector and tailored support initiatives that are delivering real benefits on the ground.” David Ost, North West Regional Director, EEF
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Other projects supported by the Agency to help the manufacturing sector include: The Northwest Composites Centre helps aerospace manufacturers to benefit from innovative high-strength, low-weight and more fuel-efficient materials. The project is a collaboration between the Agency and the four universities of Manchester, Bolton, Lancaster and Liverpool. The £30 million Knowledge Centre for Materials Chemistry (KCMC), partly funded by the NWDA, helps businesses to harness the knowledge and expertise of the region’s world-class research base in applied materials chemistry. By bringing together specialisms from across the region’s universities and research centres with dedicated independent scientists, the project will establish over 200 new collaborations between businesses and academics. The NWDA’s Grant for Business Investment (GBI) scheme has supported the expansion of manufacturing-related businesses within the Northwest. Since April 2006, GBI grants worth over £46 million have been offered to 188 manufacturing-related businesses, which is in addition to over £11 million in Grants for Research and Development offered to 128 manufacturing businesses. The Materials Discovery Centre offers high-tech manufacturing facilities to pioneer the development and discovery of new materials and bring products to the market more quickly. Based at the University of Liverpool, the centre has assisted 70 businesses and created 85 jobs to date. The National Biomanufacturing Centre is a product development and clinical manufacturing facility established by the NWDA. It provides resources and knowledge for life science companies and academic groups to bridge the gap between laboratory science and early stage clinical trials. Since 2002, over 230 businesses have been assisted by the centre. ASTRAEA (Autonomous Systems Technology Related Airborne Evaluation & Assessment) is a pioneering £32 million aerospace programme which is addressing key technological and regulatory issues in order to open up non-segregated airspace to unmanned autonomous aircraft. The programme seeks to research, develop and validate the necessary technologies, systems, facilities and procedures to promote and enable safe, routine and unrestricted use of unmanned aircrafts. The Northwest is the largest food and drink-producing region in the UK. Part of a £4.7 million grant from the NWDA was used to redevelop Reaseheath College’s food manufacturing and processing department. The investment is allowing the college to expand its services to Northwest businesses and encourage business growth and diversification throughout the region.
Renaissance House, Centre Park, Warrington, WA1 1QN Tel: +44 (0)1925 400 100 Fax: +44 (0)1925 400 400 www.nwda.co.uk February 2010 NWDA k2-21