By Marcus Leach

A new national programme which will focus on helping small and medium manufacturing businesses to grow has officially launched, Business Minister Mark Prisk and the Manufacturing Advisory Consortium (MAC) announced today (Tuesday).

The new Manufacturing Advisory Service (MAS) is now available to all manufacturing businesses across England. It will be delivered by the MAC, which is comprised of Grant Thornton, Pera, WM Manufacturing Consortium Ltd and SWMAS Ltd. It has been estimated that the new MAS will help to generate £1.5 billion in economic growth, 23,000 jobs and safeguard 50,000 jobs.

“Manufacturing contributes half of Britain’s exports and has much higher productivity than the rest of the economy so it is essential to our plans for growth," Business Minister Mark Prisk said.

"That is why we are taking steps to ensure our industrial base is thriving as part of a strong and balanced UK economy.

“The new Manufacturing Advisory Service will play a key role, providing tailored advice to businesses helping them to grow and thrive, with a specific focus on helping SMEs improve competitiveness and unlock their growth potential.”

Karl Eddy, Head of Government Infrastructure Advisory at Grant Thornton and Head of MAS, is delighted with the new programme.

"This type of programme is vital to support Britain's businesses and economy in growth," he said.

"MAC is driven by a passion for dynamic, innovative business and has proven experience in delivering advice for growth. As we drive this historically successful programme in to a new era we encourage business leaders, innovators and entrepreneurs in the manufacturing sector to contact a local advisor to find out more about how MAS can deliver real benefits for their business."

Small manufacturing businesses will also have access to a new initiative recently announced by the Government to improve the global competitiveness of UK advanced manufacturing supply chains. The up to £125 million fund will cover the whole of England and will help to support the UK supply chain, encourage new suppliers to invest in the UK and support economic growth.

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