The Advanced Manufacturing Supply Chain Initiative is a Government funded programme worth up to £245 million, designed as an incentive to assist organisations with increasing the global competitiveness of UK manufacturing supply chains. The scheme covers support for research and development, skills training, and capital investments – with the intention of helping UK supply chains achieve world-class standards. It aims to encourage sustainable collaborative partnerships between supply chains, and entice major new suppliers to locate themselves within the UK and integrate with its economy. In turn, this will create new job opportunities and strengthen the UK’s contribution to innovation throughout the manufacturing sector.
Sue Summers, CEO of Finance Birmingham – the council-owned accountable authority of the scheme – explained: “We have a thriving manufacturing industry here in the UK, and the AMSCI fund is making a significant contribution to its future, strengthening our supply chains and enabling the UK to continue competing on an international playing field.”
In rounds one and two of the scheme, over 70 bids were made with the demand for funding totalling in excess of £300 million. Successful bids were projected to create or safeguard over 18,500 job opportunities. Although the scheme was available to any organisation operating as part of a manufacturing supply chain, the primary applicants were from the aerospace or automotive sector. Many bids also came from construction, defence, electronics, marine, rail, materials and textiles sectors.
Nottingham-based AH Garner is proud to be one of the nation’s leading manufacturers and suppliers of hydraulic cylinders, and has recently received their share of the funding through a cluster bid lead by long-term customer, JCB. With the award, they have purchased a new Hwacheon CNC Lathe and intend to further invest in their lean manufacturing training aimed to improve the operational efficiency throughout their manufacturing facility. The training itself is being delivered by lean manufacturing experts, Industry Forum.
Marek Lewandowski, Managing Director of AH Garner, gives a producer’s point of view: “The new plant, and training, that we’ve been able to buy through this scheme will give us a huge boost in our productivity and turnaround times. It’s encouraging to see such programs taking off – giving companies like AH Garner and our peers the opportunity to increase our capabilities can only be a good thing for the industry.”
It is expected that the AMSCI scheme will allow thousands of other UK companies to upgrade their plant and processes, paving the way for Britain to become a truly global contender in manufacturing.