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    NAA Business Excellence Programme Update: Funding available for projects is now close to allocation

    The year seems to be flying by and we’re already heading towards the end of quarter one of 2014. The number of Business Excellence members currently stands at 124, and 96 projects are being supported. With a target of 133 members, we’re now in the final month or two of membership registration.

    It’s a very exciting time for us, as we’ve seen a great surge in all types of North West’s automotive supply chain companies wishing to become part of the BEP.  We’re lucky to have the programme, which doesn’t exist anywhere else in England.

    Of course with new members joining and existing members bringing new projects into fruition, the funding available for projects is now close to allocation.  Therefore, we must urge you to contact us sooner rather than later if you do have a “burning” project that wish to undertake with our support.

    Our aim is to allocate all funds by September; however the funding is likely to be allocated far sooner and we’ve seen the take-up of funding increase month on month.  If you would like to know more about the mentoring and technical support available, then please contact either Amanda or myself to arrange a meeting, where we will help you to complete the simple project application form and commence the process.

    New Members
    We wish to welcome the following new members to the BEP:

    • Helical Technology Ltd
    • Simmal Ltd
    • Fibet UK Ltd
    • Culimeta-Saveguard Ltd
    • EA Technology

    BE Member Networking Events

    Our last BE event on the 18 February at Mini Gears in Stockport was a great success with the highest numbers of BE members in attendance since the project began; 39 attendees were treated with a real and honest insight into the Mini Gears success story.  This started with a very informative tour of the manufacturing facility at their Stockport site, followed by lunch and presentations at Bredbury Hall.  After each company introduced themselves, Paul Darwent, Chairman of Mini Gears, delivered a presentation.  This was an engaging, positive, realistic and often humorous look at how Mini Gears has overcome adversity through often very difficult times and how it has diversified its market presence to make it the successful business we see today.

    North West Universities – Liverpool John Moores/University of Liverpool and University of Central Lancashire – raised awareness of their own ERDF-funded technology and SME support to members which we know some BE members in attendance have already made moves to enquire about further.

    As a proactive programme we wish to ensure our members see as much benefit as possible when attending our events, therefore any ideas for future Vital Topic presentations are extremely welcome.

    We are actively promoting our next Business Excellence meeting on the 13 June at the Cholmondeley Pageant of Power, which we know is already proving to be a highly sought after event to attend.  The meeting’s theme will be motorsport and technology, along with networking.  We are now in the final phase of the event planning and will be releasing exact details over the next couple of months.  Please feel free to get in touch with Amanda if you would like to reserve a place (alternatively contact who will be coordinating the event).  See more information in this month’s newsletter.

    As stated in last month’s article, we plan to hold two further meetings later in the year.  Many of our members face similar challenges and attendees have all found the visits incredibly informative.  If you wish to increase your profile and to support BEP by hosting a Business Excellence networking meeting, please contact me to explore the opportunity.

    Wishing you a positive end to quarter 1 and we look forward to welcoming our final BE members over the next few weeks.

    Dr Martin Andrews
    07870 812214

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