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    NAA Update: Make sure these forthcoming event dates are in your diary

    Just as we’re coming to the end of the Liverpool International Festival for Business, it’s time to look ahead to the next few months of events, including the NAA Annual Awards Dinner; NAA meetings at mi Technology, Sigmatex and NGF EUROPE; and the CENEX Low Carbon Vehicle event and the UK Advanced Engineering Show. And finally, you may be getting a phone call from us.

    As the Liverpool International Festival for Business draws to a close we thought it would be good to reflect upon the impact of IFB and therefore we have asked both Alan Seeley, HR Manager at Getrag and Simon Reid from Liverpool City LEP to give us their views on the event. For any of you who have been into downtown Liverpool you can’t fail to have noticed the Mono in all its glory being built for everyone to see, what an excellent showcase not only for BAC with the Mono, but also for all of the automotive industry. Certainly the events that I have attended with national speakers have all recognised the importance of Liverpool and the North West to the Automotive Industry within the UK, let’s hope that they continue to remember that long after IFB has passed – I will certainly keep plugging the NW and automotive at every opportunity. Either way we get the opportunity to repeat it all again in 2016, so there will be no chance to forget it for long!

    The number of Business Excellence members currently stands at 143 with one new member of Alexander Dennis since our last newsletter, we are now at project number 106, and we are currently supporting 28 live projects – a figure that currently seems to grow by the day! We still have project money available for all locations, as Martina has been able to work magic with the finances to ensure that we maximise the money available to projects. So speak to Amanda (, Martina ( or myself ( if you would like us to contribute to some of your external expenditure for improving your business.

    Two dates for your diary are the next two Business Excellence Networking meetings;

    • On 1st October we will be visiting Sigmatex in Runcorn, a manufacturing facility that I find absolutely fascinating and hope that you will as well. We will be focusing on people development at the event, with speakers from both Sigmatex and Bentley who both undertook Business Excellence projects in this area, with each of them winning the 2013 Business Excellence award in the SME and Large Enterprise categories respectively. We will also look to hold a panel Q&A session.
    • On 3rd December we will be visiting NGF in St Helens and the company’s new facility supported by AMSCI funding that will be formally opened later this month by its Japanese Board. NGF has also won the Queen’s Award for Industry this year, so I am sure that there will be plenty for us to see and hear about.

    It has been an intense period for us over the last six months with lots of change, including the relocation to our new office in Speke, the departure of Martin for pastures new, many new projects launched for Business Excellence, and lots of events. We continue to thrive and enjoy these challenges as they appear!

    We have a student with us for the summer period whose role is to cleanse and update our contact database, this will involve him ringing companies to check email addresses, so don’t be surprised if you hear about his call. This is all part of our drive to ensure that our newsletter reaches the maximum number of relevant people as possible; it may not be getting to some people due to email addresses being incorrect or some company systems blocking our emails. We are certain that there are lots of people out there who could really benefit from the NAA, but for whatever reason are not getting information about us.

    From what we already know, the pace of recent activity will continue for the next six months. So what is there to look forward to? Firstly it’s show time; we’ll be at the CENEX Low Carbon Vehicle event on 10-11 September and the UK Advanced Engineering Show on 11-12 November. Remember, by coming with the NAA, we will take the pain out of the show preparation for you and enable you to experience the event with limited impact on your bank balance compared to taking your own stand at these events. We are finalising our activities for both during July so you need to urgently contact either Amanda or Paul Clarke if you would like to join us for these shows.

    Obviously the upcoming big event for the NAA is our Awards Annual Dinner on 6 November. Tables are selling fast, so please consider reserving your table now, rather than leaving it to the last minute. But most importantly your top priority is to generate your Award application. Because of IFB I have received several requests that we extend the closing date from 31 July; so to enable you all to work on your applications to hone them to be award winners, we will extend the closing date until midnight on Wednesday 27 August. As we heard at the excellent Award/bid writing workshop hosted by Morson Projects, don’t leave it to the last possible moment to write, you are doing a disservice to your company/product. Morson has a 75% success rate with its bidding process and generates over 200 bids a year, so we really did get the expert’s advice and came away with a whole pile of tips and tricks that I will certainly be looking to include in the bids I write in the future!

    The other event which will be with us before we blink will be the NAA Members Networking Meeting on 23 September 2014 and will consist of a visit to mi Technology. For those of you who are not familiar with mi Technology, it is a test house on the outskirts of Leyland that historically supported the Truck Industry but nowadays also works in the Aerospace, Rail, Marine, and Automotive (Passenger Cars, Premium Brands, Sports Cars) sector. Come and take a tour of the facilities, which includes a semi-anechoic chamber that can take a double-decker bus! You will also hear about the company’s history and the next chapter now that it is part of CSA Group, the Canadian Standards Association. Contact Zoe, for more details.

    After the busy last six months, and in advance of the next few months, I’m now leaving for holiday and looking forward to recharging my batteries following the seemingly endless chest infection that I’ve had over the last four weeks (with apologies to those of you with whom I have had to cancel meetings due to having no voice).

    Enjoy the summer and your vacations, there is no newsletter published in August so I look forward to seeing and speaking to you all again in September!

    Carol Holden
    Chief Executive

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