£73m will save and create jobs at JCB
HUNDREDS of jobs have been safeguarded and scores more will be created under multi-million pound projects designed to develop the manufacturing supply chain.
The Government has awarded schemes led by organisations in North Staffordshire and South Cheshire a share of £73 million to enable companies to improve operations, increase production and attract new business to the area.
JCB, Perkins and Bentley are the lead businesses on two of the 12 successful projects which bid for cash from the Advanced Manufacturing Supply Chain Initiative (AMSCI).
JCB and Perkins Engines, based in Stafford, led a bid to increase research and development activities in the construction sector.
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The Construction UK Supply Chain Competitiveness and Innovation project, was awarded £9.6 million from the AMSCI. In total, £35.4 million is set to be invested in the scheme which will create 511 jobs and protect 1,263 positions.
A total of 49 businesses across the UK will benefit from the investment.
A JCB spokesman said: "The grant means 31 JCB suppliers in England have funds to increase and improve their manufacturing capability by investing in their facilities and training their employees."
A total of £2.1 million has been awarded towards a £9.1 million scheme to spearhead an increase in the production of components for the manufacturing of luxury cars.
The project, led by Bentley, is driven by a global demand for high-end vehicles, demonstrated by the company's latest sales figures.
The Sentinel reported in January how the Pyms Lane business grew by 22 per cent in 2012, with deliveries to customers increasing to 8,510 cars from 7,003 in 2011.
The manufacturer, which employs about 4,000 people, also increased its global sales network by 10 per cent.
It is expected that 391 jobs will be created by the Niche Luxury Vehicle Cluster Supplier Capacity Building Programme, while 154 jobs will be safeguarded.
Bentley will also partner up with organisations including the Virtual Engineering Centre at the University of Liverpool on the Northwest Automotive Alliance's project STRIVE – Simulation Tools for Rapid Innovation in Vehicle Engineering.
The £3.3 million project aims to enhance productivity through the development of a new manufacturing planning process and the creation of a new digital supply chain. It will protect 40 jobs and create about 14 new positions.
Business Secretary Vince Cable said: "This multi-million luxury vehicle project led by Bentley is an ideal example of how AMSCI is helping businesses create address growing global demand for British made goods."