Over 1,600 manufacturers from across the region have been supported to grow by the Leeds City Region Enterprise Partnership’s (LEP) Growth Service since 2015.
The Leeds City Region is the UK’s largest manufacturing employment centre and is worth over £7.7bn a year. Boosting growth and productivity in the sector is a key priority in the LEP and West Yorkshire Combined Authority’s Strategic Economic Plan to make the region a £100bn economy by 2036.
Compared with the rest of the UK, Leeds City Region has distinct advantages in three key areas market size, supply chains and the largest manufacturing workforce in the country. Throughout October, the LEP in partnership with West Yorkshire Combined Authority will be celebrating manufacturers, big and small from across Leeds City Region, and showcasing the support that’s on offer.
The support ranges from help to take on an apprentice, capital grant investment, skills and training, support to develop new products and processes, export advice, funding to improve resource efficiency and save money on energy bills, and one-to-one support from a locally based Growth Manger.
Andrew Wright, chair of the LEP’s Business Innovation and Growth Panel and managing director of Huddersfield based manufacturer, Reliance Precision, said:
“Manufacturing in Leeds City Region is worth over £7.7bn, with double the national average of companies in advanced manufacturing and the UK’s biggest manufacturing employment base.
“A strong, successful City Region economy is underpinned by the thousands of businesses that start up, grow and thrive here. We have some fantastic manufacturers in our region and there’s a whole raft of support available for those companies to grow even faster, as well as become more productive.
“Our LEP Growth Service offers a single point of contact for manufacturers and other businesses to tap into this support – making it easier for businesses to find the right blend of support for them. I would encourage all businesses to pick up the phone and find out about the support available for growing businesses at every stage of their development.”
Huddersfield-based sealant and adhesive manufacturer Polyseam is one manufacturer which has received £230,000 investment from the LEP’s capital grant programme towards equipment for its new manufacturing plant.
This new facility has helped boost the company’s international trade, they currently export to more than 40 countries. Kjetil Bogstad, chief executive of Polyseam, said: “Polyseam is extremely grateful to the LEP for the investment the company has received to help fulfil this project and enable us to house such a state of the art factory facility. The LEP has also provided skills support, including skills planning, diagnostic and relevant courses as well as support through its Trade and Investment team."
Employing around 50 staff, Polyseam is investing in its long term future in Leeds City Region and is focused on further growth with recruitment of new employees to boost its research and development.
Cllr Tim Swift, West Yorkshire Combined Authority lead for business, innovation and growth, said: “I am very pleased that our manufacturers are benefiting from the wide range of support available through the Growth Service. As well as the LEP capital grant investment, support is also available for companies who want to improve their digital capabilities, explore opportunities to trade overseas, develop the skills of their staff, take on apprentices, enable their employees to travel cheaply and sustainably, and save money on their energy bills.”
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