A GROUP helping Kirklees manufacturers improve efficiency, productivity and profits has finally secured funding to allow it to continue its work.
The future of the Manufacturing Advisory Service in Yorkshire was thrown into disarray last October when regional development agency Yorkshire Forward withdrew funding for new projects in the run-up to its closure..
Since then, MAS has continued to operate while efforts to find alternative funding continued.
Robin Watson, MAS regional director, said: “It has been an extremely frustrating period as we have not been able to provide the in-depth expert advice manufacturers are seeking.”
Now Mr Watson and his team have secured more than £1m – which gives MAS the green light to carry on operating until the end of the year.
The funding will be drawn down from sources including Yorkshire Forward’s remaining limited resources and the European Regional Development Fund.
Said Mr Watson: “The MAS service can lead to real and lasting benefits for businesses, including safeguarding and creating new jobs and increasing turnover and profitability by helping to improve competitiveness, enabling new business to be won.
“Now we have the funding in place, one of our priorities will be to advise on operational issues including introducing ‘lean’ techniques and revising factory processes and layout.”
Mr Watson added: “From December, the MAS service will be delivered on a national basis.
“The team are seeking to play a role in the new contract so that we can continue to use our experience and knowledge of manufacturing improvement techniques, which we have built up over the past eight years of delivering the MAS service in Yorkshire and Humber.”
MAS Y&H is a BIS initiative providing hands-on advice and support to manufacturing businesses to improve productivity and efficiency.
It is jointly supported by Yorkshire Forward and the ERDF and is managed by YFM Business Development, part of the GLE Group – a not for profit enterprise development company.
Firms in Kirklees to benefit from MAS advice include Shepley-based motorhomes manufacturer Wellhouse Leisure and Melett Ltd, a Queen’s Award winning company in Clayton West providing turbocharger components.