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    click to view the full sme investment and growthNorth West Automotive Supply Base responsible for investments of over £7.5 million and over 230 new jobs during 2014

    Investments totalling more than £7.5m were made into North West automotive supply base and niche vehicle manufacturing companies during 2014. All of the companies are Small & Medium Sized Enterprises (SMEs) and they have all benefited from support from the Northwest Automotive Alliance (NAA) and the NAA’s ERDF Business Excellence Project.

    In addition, at least 237 jobs were created by automotive SMEs in the North West region.

    This figure does not include investments by the major vehicle manufacturers in the region, ie. Bentley Motors, Jaguar Land Rover, Leyland Trucks and Vauxhall.

    Carol Holden OBE, Chief Executive of the Northwest Automotive Alliance, comments: “This level of investment, together with the number of new jobs created, shows the importance of small and medium-sized automotive supply chain companies in the North West region. A significant opportunity has been identified to grow the UK automotive supply chain, and these latest figures show that the companies working with the Northwest Automotive Alliance are ready to grow into larger suppliers. It also shows that for every pound invested through the Northwest Automotive Alliance into these companies, there is a significantly magnified outcome for the UK economy.”

    Examples of investments include:

    Assembly Solutions

    • £250,000 RGF grant
    • Moved into new factory
    • 15 jobs created

    Briggs Automotive Company

    • £600,000 Liverpool Mayoral Fund investment
    • Significant private investor funding
    • Moved into new factory
    • 8 jobs created

    Erlson Precision Components

    • £1.135m RGF grant
    • 96 jobs created

    Performance Springs

    • £100,000 RGF investment completed
    • £200,000 Innovate UK collaborative R&D funding awarded
    • Additional factory opened
    • 6 jobs created

    Sigmatex Ltd

    • £2.7m investment in Runcorn
    • $11m investment in Orangeburg, SC USA

    Surface Transforms PLC

    • £1.8m investment approved

    This level of investment reflects the growth of small and medium sized automotive supply chain companies working with the Northwest Automotive Alliance in the region. There are also additional investments by other members of the NAA and the Business Excellence programme.

    The Northwest Automotive Alliance helps to support and nurture supply chain companies in the region to grow into larger businesses, in order to strengthen the upstream supply chain in the UK – the subject of a report ‘Growing the Automotive Supply Chain’ launched recently by the Automotive Council. The report shows that there is a £2 billion opportunity each year for products that could be supplied by smaller UK suppliers into the country’s automotive industry. The NAA is working with the Automotive Investment Organisation (AIO) to help supply chain companies to increase sales to OEMs and Tier 1 suppliers, to access finance and to promote trade opportunities.

    Lawrence Davies, Deputy CEO of the AIO, said: “The AIO works hard in cooperation with our partners to drive targeted foreign investment into the UK automotive supply chain and to promote trade opportunities for UK companies abroad. The Northwest Automotive Alliance is another fantastic example of how this can promote growth, secure jobs and build the UK’s capacity as a leading centre for the global automotive industry. SMEs remain central to the UK automotive industry’s efforts to meet the identified opportunity for domestically produced supply-chain components, so it is particularly pleasing to see the progress SMEs under the Northwest Automotive Alliance have made.”

    The North West automotive cluster directly generates £9bn of the total UK automotive manufacturing economy, which relates to approximately 12% of the UK total, placing it as the second most significant region for automotive manufacture in the UK. Employment in the North West automotive cluster is currently estimated to be approximately 16,200.

    The Northwest Automotive Alliance (NAA) is an independent, not-for-profit company which provides a membership service to the automotive community, supporting micro-companies through to the locally-based global vehicle manufacturers. The NAA’s Business Excellence programme works with member companies to help them improve their performance.

    The North West economy is currently faced with a significant opportunity due to the unprecedented investment in the UK’s automotive industry. However, for North West companies to remain competitive and win a share of the opportunities, the region’s automotive sector needs to be supported. The Northwest Automotive Alliance is working with automotive suppliers to help them gain maximum benefit from the growth of the UK’s automotive industry, so helping to improve the North West region’s economy.

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