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London’s Manufacturing Advisory Service to target growing high tech firms


The London Development Agency today announced plans to launch a revised and improved advice service for manufacturing businesses in the capital.

The Manufacturing Advisory Service will offer unique support to manufacturing small- and medium-enterprises (SMEs), particularly those with the potential to innovate and grow - companies which have been assessed with potential to succeed in the changing and fiercely competitive global environment.

The new Manufacturing Advisory Service is one of the commitments made by the London Development Agency (LDA) in the Mayor of London’s Economic Recovery Action Plan, published in December in response to the current economic downturn.

The new service will increase the efficiency, productivity and profitability of a new generation of SMEs. The programme will introduce ’lean’, smarter and greener production and service processes to companies which use sophisticated and high value-high technology (including environmental technology).

SMEs will receive expert support to develop products and services which can command premium prices and produce a better customer experience. This is a shift away from an era of heavy engineering toward a future where new technologies, products and ways of working reinforce manufacturing with services - an approach highlighted in the recently published Manufacturing Strategy.

The Mayor of London Boris Johnson said:

“Now is the time for London’s innovative and high tech firms to take full advantage of the expert advice we are offering to businesses in the capital to help them during the downturn. I want to see this sector totally prepared and fighting fit to meet the challenges it faces in what will undoubtedly be a highly competitive global market.”

London Development Agency Chief Executive Peter Rogers said:

“This revised service for London’s emerging high-tech manufacturing companies will give them expert advice and direction and help keep London’s economy working. This public sector investment in London will get a great rate of return, leading to growing companies, great products and more jobs.”

The Manufacturing Advisory Service will be a three-year programme, part of the London Development Agency’s ’Solutions for Business’.

Eighty six per cent of companies in London’s manufacturing sector have less than 10 employees and 50% have a turnover of less than £500,000. The service will therefore be linked to the LDA’s Start up programme, Business London, and to complementary services such as Designing Demand - as well as the LDA-funded Business Link in London.

The London Development Agency will issue invitations to tender in mid-February, with the service to be operational in the summer. The new service will provide a minimum of 500 SMEs access to one-to-one mentored support services (known as Level 2 review) and a targeted group of 250 will gain the benefit of 50% subsidised in-depth (Level 4) expert support.

The LDA’s £1,960,000 funding for the overall programme, including direct delivery, is expected to be matched by £1,960,000 from the European Regional Development Fund.


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