Made in the Midlands launches new Manufacturing Advisory Service

logo_smallMade in the Midlands, in partnership with The Manufacturer, has relaunched the Manufacturing Advisory Service (MAS).

MAS was originally a government initiative that was introduced as part of the Business Growth Service (BGS) with the support of up to £125m in funding. In 2015 the service was ended as a result of funding cuts, to the dismay of businesses and entrepreneurs.

The new Manufacturing Advisory Service has been launched as a dedicated online help desk and signposting service to support Britain’s manufacturing industry. The aim is to help businesses access information they need in order to grow.

The relaunch follows a comprehensive consultation with manufacturers earlier this year, which identified the support that fast-growing businesses are most in need of in order to increase their success.

The consultation resulted in the development of a ‘Manifesto for British Manufacturing’ and one of the key outcomes was the need for manufacturers to get involved in helping resurrect MAS.

Regarding the launch, Lord Mike Whitby, non-executive chairman of Made in the Midlands, said: “Manufacturing contributes over 10 per cent to Britain’s GDP, and the Midlands’ contribution is even more significant. It’s vital that the sector continues to grow, but one of the biggest challenges the sector is currently facing is a lag between true entrepreneurship and access to financial support.

“It’s essential that we share experience and that the financial sector becomes more transparent about why funding may be denied or take so long to be granted. The launch of MAS, by a superb organisation that really listens to its members and is sponsored by financial institutions such as the Royal Bank of Scotland, is a great step towards a strong future of growth for Britain’s manufacturing industry.”

The new MAS provides help for UK manufacturers looking for more information on process improvement, R&D grants and patents, and access to finance and marketing.

Charles Addison, Director of MAS, explained: “It became clear that there was the technical capability and industry knowledge to bring MAS back to Britain’s manufacturers. The rejuvenated service will help businesses find the support and advice they need, about everything from process improvements and R&D grants to access to finance and marketing best practice.”

Jason Pitt, chief executive of Made in the Midlands, added: “The UK’s industrial strategy needs to be strengthened, and businesses need to lead the way and help the sector grow. This is the business community showing leadership.”

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