Auto supply chain gets £19m cash injection
A £19m funding programme to support companies in the automotive and aerospace supply chains in the West Midlands has been launched.
The West Midlands and Liverpool City Region Programme will help companies in the four Local Enterprise Partnership areas of Greater Birmingham and Solihull, Coventry and Warwickshire, the Black Country and Liverpool City Region.
It forms part of the Advanced Manufacturing Supply Chain Initiative (AMSCI), a £125m national programme launched in April 2012 to improve the global competitiveness of the advanced manufacturing supply chain.
The programme will provide loans and grants to pay for capital equipment, working capital, R&D activity which improves manufacturing equipment, systems and processes, and specific training and skills development.
The programme is managed by Finance Birmingham with Birmingham City Council as the accountable body and provides minimum funding of £100,000.
Paul Heaven, Greater Birmingham & Solihull Local Enterprise Partnership Board Director with responsibility for access to finance, said: “We are proud of what has been achieved through AMSCI and are looking to build on these successes with this further support.
“Originally, when the AMSCI programme was conceived, it was the four LEPs of Greater Birmingham and Solihull, Black Country, Coventry & Warwickshire and Liverpool City Region who took the lead on developing the project, primarily to capitalise on the opportunities that the investment in Jaguar Land Rover presented in these areas.
“The financial support this programme offers is crucial and will encourage business innovation and ensure local manufacturing receives the support it needs to grow.”
He said the number of jobs resulting from the growth in the sector, together with the boost to skills levels, would reap massive dividends for both regions.
“It is important that we take advantage of the opportunity to establish more competitive supply chains that anchor high-value work in England and, crucially, create jobs,” he added.
Richard Hutchins, Coventry and Warwickshire LEP Director and chair of its High Value Manufacturing Business Group, said: “A healthy supply chain is vital to help our manufacturers compete internationally, meet demand and continue to create growth and prosperity for the region and the UK.
“We see this funding as a very good opportunity to help firms in the supply chain to increase their capabilities.”
He has encouraged firms in both regions to explore the funding options.