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    NAA Business Excellence Programme Update: Opportunity to exhibit at the Cenex Low Carbon Vehicle event; time is running out for project funding support

    NAA member companies are invited to exhibit at the Cenex Low Carbon Vehicle event, and money is running short in this round, so apply for support now from the Business Excellence Programme Technical Support Fund.

    Last September, the NAA Business Excellence Programme took three companies to exhibit at the Cenex Low Carbon Vehicle show and in January four companies to Auto Expo, India. Our aim of supporting companies at shows is to promote the automotive sector in the North West region and to help them develop new and existing relationships to source and distribute products. The Business Excellence Programme typically pays the majority of exhibition costs, such as stand space and build together with some promotional materials. Where practical we help to source other support, such as from partner organisations, such as UK Trade and Investment, which can contribute to travel and expenses and provide valuable market intelligence. I can honestly say that feedback from companies has been extremely positive, with all obtaining significant benefit.

    I am very pleased to say that we have already filled our stand at Automechanika, Frankfurt this September, with four companies from our region. Upon completion of the show, I will report back through the newsletter.

    We will be attending the Cenex Low Carbon Vehicle show on 5 and 6 September 2012, at Millbrook Proving Ground, Bedford. Once again we will be paying for the vast majority of stand costs. I would love to hear from companies interested in joining our delegation and exhibiting. Opportunities are available for both the private sector and academic institutions, so if you are interested please contact me at the earliest opportunity. You can find out more about Cenex LCV at the event’s official media partner site,

    Technical Support Fund Update

    In November, I started to promote project funding for Business Excellence members. Since then, 29 projects have been commissioned, worth £436,710, this includes £91,000 of additional project value commissioned in March. By June, I expect all funding to be allocated to projects, so please contact me if you are interested in support. Projects can be diverse, from lean manufacture, to quality systems, to the development and implementation of marketing strategies. Subsidised support is available at a rate of 35% for revenue projects using an external provider and we will contribute up to the value of £10,000.

    If you are not currently a BE member, then all is not lost. Although membership currently stands at 57, which exceeds our target of 55 companies, it remains open and is free to all companies in the North West region’s automotive sector, supported by the European Regional Development Fund. Please contact me, if you would like further details.

    New members in March include:

    • Briggs Automotive Company, which has developed and is manufacturing the award-winning BAC Mono, capable of 0-60 in just 2.8 seconds.
    • ASE, who are suppliers of accountancy, business management and business support to the vast majority of global OEMs.

    Forthcoming Events and Exhibitions

    • Directors in the Dock: 1-5pm, 16 April, Slater Heelis, Sale, Manchester.

    This free event is applicable for all companies, not just BE members, who want to understand their duties and how to maximise value from achieving best practice – it doesn’t always have to doom and gloom. Practically, legislation will be covered with respect to accidents at work and corporate and gross negligence manslaughter, which is an area of concern for all directors. Sessions will also be held on directors’ legal duties and evidence of compliance, together with achieving best practice and understanding the true value of health and safety. We also have free legal and health and safety clinic slots provided by Slater Heelis and Saftety2Business respectively.

    · Apprentices Explained: 17 May, Partnership for Learning building, Halewood

    · Business Excellence Networking Meeting – 1pm, 14 June, hosted by Performance Springs, Lytham St Annes. This meeting will include members introductions, BE update, vital topic (changes in employment law and use of contractors), a relevant case study, site tour and networking.

    · R&D Tax Credits, 10 July, Partnership for Learning building, Halewood.

    Business Excellence/Industry Awards

    In October, the NAA will be holding Business Excellence/Industry Awards, which will provide an opportunity for companies to celebrate their successes and obtain recognition from the sector. We are in the early stages of developing the criteria for the awards, but please keep a look out for emails inviting applications.

    Future Programme – Post-December 2012

    Later in April, I am pleased to say that I will commence work on a potential extension to our Business Excellence Programme. The current programme runs until December 2012, but I hope to demonstrate to our ERDF funders that we can continue to add value to the automotive sector through a project extension to mid-2015. I hope that you will support me in this endeavour, with letters of support and information about how the project has benefitted your companies. I will keep you informed of progress.

    Contact Me

    If you are interested in finding out more about joining the Business Excellence Programme and any of the above, then please contact me. My email and telephone numbers are as , telephone 0151 486 4986 (general) or 07870 812214 (direct mobile).

    I look forward to hearing from you.

    All the best


    Dr Martin Andrews
    Northwest Automotive Alliance



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