Automotive and aerospace companies in the West Midlands are set to benefit from a new fund to support supply chains in the region.
The West Midlands and Liverpool City Region Programme has already been rolled out in the Merseyside area, and now this is moving south to the help companies in the heart of England. Four Local Enterprise Partnerships regions of Greater Birmingham and Solihull, Coventry and Warwickshire and the Black Country and Liverpool City area are all included in the £19 million funding package. It is part of the Advanced Manufacturing Supply Chain Initiative (AMSCI), which is a £125 million programme launched in April 2012 to boost global competitiveness within this sector.
Companies across the region will be given the impetus to become more challenging to their international counterparts and will be bestowed with loans and grants that can be used to pay for capital equipment, research and development activity and any other aspects that will help to improve the services that these companies currently provide.
Paul Heaven, Greater Birmingham & Solihull Local Enterprise Partnership board director, said: "We are proud of what has been achieved through AMSCI and are looking to build on these successes with this further support. The financial support this programme offers is crucial and will encourage business innovation and ensure local manufacturing receives the support it needs to grow."
The programme will be managed by Finance Birmingham in conjunction with the local authority, which will also be the accountable body, providing the minimum funding of £100,000. It is a landmark decision for companies in the region with officials predicting that a host of supply chain jobs will be created once the funding package is fully utilised.
In Liverpool, the move has already been responsible for the success of NGF Europe, which is part of the NGF Group and owns Pilkington Glass. Officials are confident that similar results can be seen across the Midlands as the funding is extended to this part of the country.