New venture launched to secure multi-million pound rise in productivity and jobs creation by Peterborough’s manufacturers

A new initiative has been launched to power a multi-million pound hike in manufacturing output and jobs creation in Peterborough.

Tuesday, 20th July 2021, 12:52 pm
3D printing experts Photocentric.

The Smart Manufacturing Alliance seeks to link up manufacturers and education and skills centres including colleges and Peterborough’s university, to increase innovation, enterprise and skills to world beating levels.

It is hoped the Alliance, which will operate across Cambridgeshire, will see the value of goods and services provided by the sector, which already accounts for 13 per cent of the county’s economic output, rise by £50 million over a decade.

It is expected to power more job creation - manufacturers employ 40,500 people county wide - and see companies make early moves into emerging markets.

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Tom Hennessy, chief executive of Opportunity Peterborough.

The Alliance is a joint venture between economic development company, Opportunity Peterborough (OP) and the Cambridgeshire and Peterborough Combined Authority.

Its work will be overseen by a steering group of local industry leaders and there will be six networks across the county.

The Alliance’s key targets for the first five years are:

Create more than 380 jobs, both in manufacturing, related fields and supply chains.

Austen Adams, chairman of the Combined Authority business board. Picture by Terry Harris.

Successfully nurture the growth and development of at least 20 manufacturing start-up businesses.

Take part in 24 collaborations which share resources, knowledge, and drive innovation within the sector.

Support the creation of 96 new products, processes or services among its members.

Tom Hennessy, chief executive of OP Peterborough, said: “Manufacturing across Cambridgeshire and Peterborough is extremely diverse.

“The mature supply chains and skilled workforce are a huge part of what makes it such an attractive investment location, but there’s still plenty of untapped potential.

“Through the Smart Manufacturing Alliance, we can address productivity gaps which are a national challenge, and embed innovation at every level so our manufacturers continue to pioneer new technologies, products, and services.

“Ultimately we also want to see high quality career opportunities for residents with continuous learning and development, and collaborative approaches that drive innovation and enhance the reputation of the sector in our region.”

Austen Adams, chair of the Cambridgeshire & Peterborough Combined Authority Business Board, said: “So much of what makes this region an economic powerhouse comes from clustering where businesses operating in similar sectors are drawn together to create a virtuous cycle of attracting talent, investment and promoting excellence and innovation.

“Fostering these vital ingredients for success in our manufacturing and engineering sector, while addressing the challenges we have around productivity and skills will strengthen and grow this important part of our regional economy.”

Plans for the Alliance were boosted after OP secured £1.2 million ERDF (European Regional

Development Fund) business support programme.

It will fund an innovation programme of direct business support and a grant scheme to encourage investment in new technologies and research and development.