11 September 2009
Automotive suppliers in the West Midlands have received a £1 million cash injection to help them recover from the economic downturn.
Some 47 vendors received grants averaging £20,000 to help fund consultancy services on issues including improving supply chains and organisational restructuring.
It forms part of the West Midlands automotive response programme, which will give a total of £3.5 million in grants to struggling vendors.
The initiative was established in July and is funded by regional development agency Advantage West Midlands and the European Union. It will be delivered by the Manufacturing Advisory Service West Midlands (MAS-WM).
It is hoped the funds will help more than 120 companies secure more than 1,000 supply chain jobs by the end of the programme in March.
Simon Griffiths, chief executive of MAS-WM, said: "Grants are immediately available for businesses that have been hit by the recession and they can use the money to bring in quality-approved manufacturing and business consultants and experts to help work with them on strategic issues that will move them forward."
Operations manager Rachel Eade added: "The first step is to make sure suppliers withstand the current economic downturn and are still around when car volumes pick up again. The second is to ensure we create businesses that are in a better position than ever before to really drive the future of the automotive sector."
Suppliers can apply for funding online at old.mas-wm.org/company/index.html. Applications are assessed and approved by a panel. Unsuccessful applicants are offered advice about other sources of funding.