Manufacturer joins forces with university to achieve strategic growth

Leadership and marketing experts at Leeds Beckett University have teamed up with a Leeds-based manufacturing company to bring academic knowledge and innovation into the business.

The Leeds Business School academics will work with Moulds, Patterns and Models Ltd (MPM) on the two-year Knowledge Transfer Partnership (KTP), which is part-funded by the Government through Innovate UK.

Founded in 1978, MPM is a family-owned business specialising in manufacturing and supplying composite fibreglass tooling and products to key sectors including automotive, leisure and renewable energy.

Dr Julia Morgan, head of the Leadership Centre at Leeds Beckett and project supervisor, explained: “MPM’s leadership team is very forward-thinking and highly motivated – they have already achieved impressive growth and made many operational changes over the last 10 years, and they are now looking to work with us to achieve the next stage of their ambitious growth plan.

“The KTP will support MPM in their goals to enter new markets and develop new products and services. We will do this by using innovative solutions to challenge their existing practices and create strategic change in the business.”

The KTP will focus on two areas: sales, marketing and strategic insights to grow market share; and strengthening leadership skills and ensuring a high-performing and engaged team are retained within the business to facilitate this growth.

Ben Wilson, managing director of MPM, said: “Sometimes, you don’t know what you don’t know, and we’re excited to have a fresh pair of eyes, ears and insight into our plans and vision while developing the team and business for a more successful, sustainable and enjoyable future.”

Morgan has 20 years’ experience of working in Human Resource Management and Leadership Development consultancy.

Project leader, Dr Catherine Ashworth, senior lecturer in marketing, has extensive experience of working with small and medium-sized enterprises on knowledge exchange projects and has led multiple KTP projects.

A skilled graduate will be recruited to carry out the project, as a full-time member of staff within the business, and with the full support and input of the academic team at Leeds Beckett.

MPM’s relationship with Leeds Beckett University began in 2021 when Wilson took part in the Small Business Leadership Programme – the Government’s pilot course which has now become the Help to Grow: Management programme – supporting senior managers of SMEs to boost business performance, resilience, and long-term growth.

Jo Griffiths, head of KTP at Leeds Beckett University, said: “The team at MPM are very engaged and want to scale their business sustainably for the benefit of their employees as well as the regional economy.

“This aspiration aligns directly to the UK Government’s Build Back Better and Levelling Up agendas, which are focused on economic growth, improving skills and spreading opportunity more equally across the UK.”