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    NAA Business Excellence Programme Update: Business Excellence Programme Extension Approaching Final Approval

    I would like to take this opportunity to update you on the Business Excellence’s proposed extension July 2013 to June 2015.

    It is now over a year ago that I met with the team at the European Regional Development Fund and in July 2012 I submitted the proposal for further funding. The ERDF team has been extremely supportive and in fact allowed us to use our existing monies to extend the project from December 2012 to June 2013, thus keeping the project live. As you may have gathered, the process has been long and arduous, but I believe that the programme is of importance to the automotive sector and definitely worth the effort.

    The process of obtaining ERDF monies has become increasingly political and decisions are made from both a regional and local perspective. This meant that our project needed to be sold regionally and to the public sector across the five sub-regions. A decision was finally taken on 26 March to support our project (in principle) up to June 2015, which is fantastic. However, as ERDF funding has become extremely competitive ours and other projects have lower budgets than requested.  £1.1m has been earmarked for our project, which will be contracted once they are content with the deliverables and value for money (hopefully in May). This value is actually the same as previously awarded, so we can still make a difference to companies and add value. I am quietly confident that the monies will be awarded to us, although I will be required to work with considerably more businesses to obtain it.

    From 1 July 2013, the Business Excellence programme will be once again fully operational and will be able to help companies make business improvements, network and promote themselves.

    Contact Me
    If you are interested in finding out more about the Business Excellence Programme, then please contact me. My email and telephone numbers are as follows:, telephone 07870 812214 (direct mobile).

    Martin Andrews

    European Regional Development Fund Northern Powerhouse
    Partners Department for Business Innovation and Skills Finance Birmingham