On 12 September 2013, the Manufacturing Advisory Service (MAS) launched its Manufacturing Matters North West campaign with a conference at Salford City Stadium. Richard Jeffery, our Director of Business Growth, reflects on the success of the conference and why manufacturing does matter in this region.
Richard Jeffery, Director of the Business Growth Hub and Manufacturing Advisory Service (MAS), reflects on the success of the conference held on 12 September 2013.
Last week I was proud and delighted to welcome over 250 delegates to the Manufacturing Advisory Service (MAS) conference in the North West at Salford City Stadium which was our opportunity to launch MAS’s Manufacturing Matters campaign in the region to promote English manufacturing SMEs to a local, national and international audience.
Making a manufacturing business into a success story is hard work but you don’t have to do it alone and we wanted the conference to be an opportunity for manufacturers to find out just what advice and support there is out there for them – from UKTI on exporting and SEMTA on skills development to Access to Finance for practical financial advice. Many of you will also have spoken with or listened to our North West MAS team of advisors at the conference and since 2012 they have undertaken manufacturing reviews with over 1200 manufacturing businesses and co-invested in 200 in depth projects, creating over 1000 and safeguarding over 4000 jobs.
With the largest manufacturing sector in the country and employing more than 320,000 people, the North West has a long and very proud heritage of manufacturing excellence, a fact reflected and borne out by the recent New Economy report on Manufacturing and Nuclear in the North West that was launched at the conference. The report finds that, as a region, we employ more people than any other in the UK in the manufacture of chemicals. We have the largest food & drink manufacturing sector in the country, employing more than 50,000 people and just under 10,000 people here are employed in the processing of nuclear fuel - accounting for 99% of total employment in that sector nationally. So manufacturing certainly does matter!
Having met and spoken to many of the manufacturers at our event it was truly inspiring to hear their stories. Many of them have been through good times and bad but there is an undeniable spirit of optimism in the air as many of them spoke to us about their growth and expansion rather than contraction and having to cut back.
Thank you to our partners and sponsors and to all the manufacturers who were able to join us last week and we look forward now to building on what the conference has delivered to find new ways to support and collaborate with one another to deliver more good news and growth in the months and years to come.
For more information about the support we can provide please contact firstname.lastname@example.org or call 0161 359 3050
You can view more images from the event by visiting our Google+ page