Cumbria Manufacturing Service helps manufacturing SMEs to streamline their processes, drive up production capacity, innovate, improve business systems and access new markets.
Alan Reid is its new manufacturing adviser.
He visits clients to identify opportunities and barriers to growth, setting out recommendations and identifying actions that will unlock growth and improve productivity and competitiveness.
He can then help businesses apply for grants towards the cost of further specialist advice.
Typically, projects are £10,000 in value and will attract a £3,000 grant.
Alan said: “Part of my role is to take away the pain of applying for grant aid – often businesses think it’s going to be complicated and take up too much time.
“I can also tap into a network of consultants.”
My role is to take away the pain of applying for grant aid.
The scope of projects eligible for support covers innovation, sales and marketing strategies, e-commerce, business systems, quality assurance, SALSA, operational efficiency and more.
They must drive job creation, introduce new processes internally or new products to market, and drive up productivity.
Full details of the grant criteria are available by clicking here.
Alan, 51, was formerly employed by B&M Longworth, an engineering company in Blackburn, Lancashire, where he was managing director for four years and prior to that operations director and engineering manager.
He is a chartered mechanical engineer with a degree in mechanical engineering from UCLan, which he obtained as a mature student in his thirties.
He said: “I sold my shares in B&M Longworth, which gave me nine months to take stock of what I wanted to do.
“I thought about consultancy and then this job came up, which was ideal as it allows me to use my skills to help other businesses.
“First and foremost I can bring to the table 30 years’ experience in industry.
“I’m experienced in running a business with a £1.5m turnover that exported to the Far East and US, that met the criteria for suppling the likes of Rolls Royce but also dealt with small businesses employing a handful of people.
“I understand supply chains, and know all about customers who change their minds at the last minute about what they want and try to renegotiate terms.”
He continued: “I think of myself as a critical friend.
“I’ll be gentle if I think something is not quite right but, equally, stick to my guns if the business is going down the wrong road.
“I can be a good listener if people want to get something off their chest.”
I can be a good listener if people want to get something off their chest.
In his previous career, Alan travelled the world visiting clients but is just as at home building a machine on the shop floor.
His hobby is restoring cars. He added: “I have two old Triumphs in the garage that are restoration projects.”
To be eligible for support from Cumbria Manufacturing Service, businesses must meet European Regional Development Fund criteria.
To find out more, and to book an appointment with Alan, contact Cumbria Business Growth Hub or call 0844 257 84 50.
Cumbria Manufacturing Service and Cumbria Business Growth Hub are business support initiatives part-funded by the European Regional Development Fund.
The funding that supports the Growth Hub comes from a range of sources including Cumbria Chamber of Commerce, the European Regional Development Fund, Allerdale Borough Council (Sellafield Ltd’s Allerdale SIIF, distributed by Allerdale Borough Council), Barrow Borough Council (FEDF Coastal Communities Fund Supply Chain Initiative, the Coastal Communities Fund is funded by the Government with income from the Crown Estates marine assets; it is delivered by the Big Lottery Fund on behalf of UK Government), Carlisle City Council, Eden District Council, South Lakeland District Council and Cumbria LEP.
The Growth Hub is receiving up to £2,528,767 of funding from the England European Regional Development Fund as part of the European Structural and Investment Funds Growth Programme 2014-2020. The Department for Communities and Local Government is the Managing Authority for European Regional Development Fund. Established by the European Union, the European Regional Development Fund helps local areas stimulate their economic development by investing in projects which will support innovation, businesses, create jobs and local community regenerations. For more information click here.
Cumbria Manufacturing Service is receiving is £301,088 of ERDF funding.© Cumbria Chamber of Commerce