£55m funding pot to boost manufacturing

Jun 8, 2016 | Regional Business

A £55m funding pot to boost manufacturing in the region is to be discussed at a masterclass event next week.

The voice of North East manufacturing – the Advanced Manufacturing Forum – is to host the event centered around the current challenges faced by UK companies and how they can be overcome.

And as well as one of the region’s most high-profile employers, Sevcon, leading speeches at the AMF members’ meeting, details of the multi-million pound grant fund will also be given.

Alastair Wilson, of Tait Walker, will speak about the current, but very soon to close, £15m grant fund for manufacturers from Innovate UK, while Chris Shaw, of Close Brothers, will announce the £40m fund it is managing for plant and machinery.

The leading speaker, Dave Sandells, head of development for Sevcon – which designs and manufactures electric powered vehicles – will also address manufacturers at the function.

As well as his own journey, Dave will outline the challenges his company faces and how he plans to overcome them, while constantly meeting the needs of customers and partners.

Ian Fawdon, chairman of the Advanced Manufacturing Forum, said: “We always try to base our events around topical issues, issues that are effecting manufacturers in the North East right now.

“To sustain a thriving manufacturing market companies have got to help each other and listen to each other, and we are here to help facilitate that and ensure that the information is passed on.

“We were delighted when Sevcon decided to come on board.

“They are a hugely successful company in the area, manufacturing electric-powered vehicles from fork-lift trucks to electric-powered sports cars, as well as designing and making high quality AC and DC motor controllers and system components that impact the way people travel, work and live.

“A lot can be learned for the way they operate, how they have overcome previous struggles, and how they are planning to overcome challenges currently faced by many companies in the region and across the UK today.

“Additional speakers Tait Walker and Close Brothers – with details of the funding for manufacturers in the region – only adds to the importance of this event which attendees are sure to get a lot from.”

The event will take place on Wednesday, June 15, from 12pm until 2pm, at the Washington Business Centre, Turbine Way, Sunderland.