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Manufacturing Advisory Service launched as online help desk

27 August 2017

Manufacturing and engineering membership body, Made in the Midlands has launched the Manufacturing Advisory Service (MAS) as an online help desk and signposting service to support Britain’s manufacturing industry and help businesses access the information they need in order to grow. 

MAS was initially a Government initiative, introduced as part of the Business Growth Service (BGS). However, in 2015 the service was ended as a result of funding cuts. 

“When the original Manufacturing Advisory Service closed due to lack of funding, it left a gap in the manufacturing industry,” said Charles Addison, Business Development Director at Made in the Midlands. “Prompted by the uncertainty surrounding the Government’s industrial strategy, we gathered a coalition of our members, led by non-executive chairman Lord Mike Whitby, to see what could be done about the industry’s uncertainty concerning who to turn to for advice and for help navigating the innovation minefield. 

“It became clear that there was the technical capability and industry knowledge among our members, and the capacity in the Made in the Midlands team, to combine efforts and launch MAS as on online help desk for Britain’s manufacturers. The service will help businesses find the support and advice they need, about everything from process improvements and research and development (R&D) grants, to access to finance and marketing best practice.”

Lord Mike Whitby, Non-executive Chairman of Made in the Midlands, adds: “Manufacturing contributes over 10% to Britain’s GDP, and the Midlands’ contribution is even more significant. It is vital that the sector continues to grow, but one of the biggest challenges the sector is currently facing is a lag between true entrepreneurship and access to financial support. 

“It is essential that we share experience and that the financial sector becomes more transparent about why funding may be denied or take so long to be granted. The launch of MAS is a great step towards a strong future of growth for Britain’s manufacturing industry.”

The launch of the MAS help desk is sponsored by the Royal Bank of Scotland, Baldwins Accountants, ART Business Loans, Finance Birmingham and The Manufacturer. By creating a service that is provided by business for business, Made in the Midlands hopes to create something that lasts and evolves.

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