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    NAA Update – April 2012 – Carol Holden – CEO: Funding available for quality management systems; grants or loans for capital or development projects; Regional Growth Fund Round 3

    This month’s update covers UK Automotive sector performance, NAA events, and funding opportunities, in particular, the NAA is looking to make a bid on behalf of SMEs based upon quality management systems, an opportunity for you to obtain some money from the government and provide training and qualifications for your staff – more details are below, please note that there is an urgent deadline. Separate funding is also available through the Advanced Manufacturing Supply Chain Competition, as well as Regional Growth Fund Round 3

    Funding to develop quality management systems – deadline 20 April

    As I mentioned last month, the first round of the employer-led skills pilot has been announced and the competition closes on 26 April.

    The NAA is looking to make a bid on behalf of SMEs based upon quality management systems within companies and specifically focussed on VDA 6.3 Process Management. This has been selected as there is growing interest by companies of achieving this standard and we have recently heard that Volkswagen will be mandating it from its supply chain; so this is an opportunity for you to be ready, provide training and qualifications for your staff and obtain some money from the government at the same time – three birds with one stone!

    The proposed content will include i) a strategic diagnostic, ii) internal audit training and iii) audit facilitation support. For individuals who participate in this skill development there will also be the opportunity to map it to Business Improvement Technique qualifications.

    The catch is that we will need a letter of support and commitment from each company and we need to have an aggregated bid that totals £250,000. If you are interested then please email or telephone me urgently and by Friday 20 April at the latest so that we can discuss this opportunity further.

    Advanced Manufacturing Supply Chain Competition

    Last month I also mentioned the Advanced Manufacturing Supply Chain Competition. Although it is a little confusing with two different streams, please take an urgent look at this competition as it can take time to develop the details to support a bid.

    Stream 2 : If you are based in the Liverpool region (or very close to Liverpool) and are looking to invest in capital or development activity (either SME or large company) then this is an opportunity for you to have either a grant or a loan, there is a minimum bid value of £200,000. Like all competitions, timing is tight, so you need to take action very quickly. The closing date is the middle of June, which will soon be upon us. You will be applying to a £25m pot of money with companies based in another 3 LEP areas in the Midlands. We are already working with one company, but I am sure that there are more of you with projects who could benefit from this opportunity. Both myself and Steve McKeown of Local Enterprise Partnership (was The Mersey Partnership – TMP) are here to help you. Give me a call on 07710 658601 or email and we will visit you to explain more about the competition and offer advice and support in your bid application.

    Stream 1: If you are not based in Liverpool then the competition is more restrictive in that it must be a collaborative bid for a supply chain with a minimum bid threshold of £2m. So if you are looking to make an investment linked to a specific project from your customer then this is an opportunity; or if you are looking for your suppliers to invest in a specific project then this is the opportunity for you. Again, if you need further information then please contact me.

    Regional Growth Fund Round 3

    The closing date for applications to RGF3 is 13 June. There is £1b for this round with minimum bids of £1m each. As before the key is “jobs and geography”. To date the NW has 23% of the projects awarded, with the NE taking 33% of the projects. The assessment is against 5 criteria: project location, additionality, sustainable private sector growth, value for money and state aid compliance. All monies must be spent by 31 March 2015. In the information for this round they identify a priority for green economic growth. If you are interested in applying then let me know and we can either help, or put you into contact with some our members who have applied and they can share their experience of the process.

    Positive export-led growth shown by 2011 full year figures for the UK Automotive Sector

    I have received information on the performance of the Automotive Sector within the UK and thought you might be interested to see some of the facts and figures. In summary, full year figures including both vehicles and parts show a clear overall trend of very positive export-led growth.

    • Total turnover was just short of £53 billion, up from £46.1 billion in 2010
    • Export growth at 15% was much stronger than growth in home sales
    • Global vehicle demand rose by around 4%
    • 82% of UK vehicle output is exported
    • 20 years ago overall output was similar, but exports were 48% of output
    • At £29.5 billion, sector exports recorded an all-time high
    • Automotive represents 11.5% of the UK’s manufactured exports and 6% of UK’s entire exports of goods and services
    • Approximately 50% of automotive exports go to European Union countries
    • USA is the leading destination, followed closely by Germany and China
    • UK vehicle output is now close to 1.5 million units on an annualised basis. The growth is mainly coming from car output, with commercial vehicle output fairly flat.

    NAA Networking Events

    We have had no events since our last newsletter, but there are two in April. The Members Networking Event at Vauxhall Motors will have been held by the time you receive this email; I am looking forward to the tour of the facility and hearing from their speakers – see the event review in our next newsletter.

    Our other event in April is entitled ‘Directors In The Dock’; I am sure that is where none of us want to be, so I would encourage you all to consider attending the event; whether you are in a large or small company. As well as the formal presentations there will be the opportunity for 1-1 clinics covering both legal and Health & Safety matters. The meeting is free and Slater Heelis is really easy to get to, just one minute off the M60 at junction 6. Please contact Zoe for more information.

    Annual Dinner

    I am pleased to announce that Bentley Motors has agreed to be the main sponsor for our Annual Dinner on 18 October. SMMT Industry Forum has also agreed to sponsor an award and we are in discussions with others, but still have opportunities for award sponsors, so if you are interested then please contact either myself or Zoe. More information will be available in next month’s newsletter for the award application process.


    Finally, I hope that you all had a good Easter, and the theme of holidays will continue over the next couple of months, when there are more public holidays, and many of us may be taking the opportunity to add on additional personal holidays. This is likely to be true for your own company, as well as the NAA, so please bear with us if you need to leave messages on our answer machine; we will get back to you.

    Tell us about your good news stories

    There are several good news stories in this e-newsletter about the vehicle manufacturers in the region. We would also love to receive your good news stories and share them with everyone, no matter how small – they are important to you and the success of your company. Please let either our editor Paul or myself know; Paul can even help you write it up into an article.

    Carol Holden

    Chief Executive

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