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Golden growth prospects for Lancashire's aerospace and advanced manufacturing sectors

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Despite the economic challenges being faced by aerospace and advanced manufacturing, these sectors continue to hold their own against increasing competition from overseas.

Manufacturing maintains a strong foothold in Lancashire and, in terms of advanced manufacturing for aerospace, the county has one of the top sectors in Europe. 

The challenge now is staying ahead of the competition, particularly from emerging economies, and finding ways to support our high-growth businesses to help them realise their potential to become world-leading manufacturers.

Of course, these sectors are already well supported through the Manufacturing Advisory Service, the North West Aerospace Alliance, Northwest Automotive Alliance (NAA), EEF and the Regional Growth Fund. The designated Enterprise Zone in Lancashire and Technology Strategy Board competitions, including SMART, also bring their own opportunities.

There is local support for manufacturers to purchase machinery and towards the cost of fitting out new premises, which often follows the growth pattern. There is still a real challenge to provide the right type of premises in the right locale, but again Lancashire has some answers to this through the Enterprise Zone and the Aerospace Supplier Park in Burnley.

The other big challenge to growth in the sector is skills and the need for ever-increasing numbers of engineers. Lancashire is making progress in this area and BAE Systems has instigated an overtraining programme for companies seeking apprentices to start alleviating this problem.

However, through all of this, the specific challenges and mechanics of growth, such as strategy and leadership, continue to be an important theme.

Boost Business Lancashire is at the forefront of supporting businesses in a period where access to specialist support is in high demand and when accessing finance has become a serious challenge, particularly for new less-tested technologies.

Boost Business Lancashire offers a range of funded business support programmes and specific help in areas such as:

  • Developing a growth strategy
  • Raising finance
  • Leadership development
  • Growth mentoring and coaching
  • Product and service development
  • Profit improvement
  • Sales and marketing
  • Change management

I would urge all ambitious businesses in the aerospace and advanced manufacturing sectors that have high-growth potential to fill in the form on the Boost website and start the growth conversation today.

Find out more

There is specific support available through Boost to help aerospace and advanced manufacturing companies to develop growth strategies, access finance, develop new products and much more.

Start the growth conversation by completing our online form or calling us on 0800 488 0057.

Author

Jonathan Thomas, sector lead for advanced manufacturing for the Business Growth and Innovation team at Lancashire County Developments Ltd

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