News story

New help for manufacturers could generate £1.5bn growth and create 23,000 jobs

The new service will be delivered by the Manufacturing Advisory Consortium (MAC) and will help create an estimated £1.5bn in economic growth…

This was published under the 2010 to 2015 Conservative and Liberal Democrat coalition government


The new service will be delivered by the Manufacturing Advisory Consortium (MAC) and will help create an estimated £1.5bn in economic growth, 23,000 jobs and safeguard 50,000 jobs.

The Manufacturing Advisory Service will continue to deliver a national service to all manufacturing businesses in England but the new consortium now means that there will be a specific focus on:

  • driving business growth through strategic and technical support for SMEs developing advanced manufacturing capabilities and creating high value jobs

  • enabling business improvement with manufacturers operating in global supply chains; and

  • linking SMEs with the apprenticeship programme delivering a minimum of 1,250 engineering and manufacturing apprenticeships annually.

Business Minister Mark Prisk said:

“Manufacturing contributes half of Britain’s exports and has much higher productivity than the rest of the economy so it is essential to our plans for growth. That is why we are taking steps to ensure our industrial base is thriving as part of a strong and balanced UK economy.

“Britain has world class manufacturers and the new Manufacturing Advisory Service (MAS) will help them grow and create more outstanding companies with a particular focus on helping SMEs.

“Today I am visiting Arrowsmith Engineering in Coventry who supply the motorsport and aerospace industries and who have been able to grow their company 20 per cent as a result of support from MAS.”

Karl Eddy, Partner at Grant Thornton, said;

“MAS is designed to support all manufacturers to retain employment, improve productivity and deliver significant growth to the UK economy. At its core is a passion and drive to help dynamic, innovative businesses to grow - even in a challenging economic environment. These principles are very much at the heart of the MAC consortium’s own business strategy and values. Our proven expertise in delivering advice to growing businesses combined with specialist regional, market and technical knowledge allows us to bring scale, commitment and innovation for entrepreneurship to the future of this programme.

“As the service moves to a national delivery model the consortium will continue to recognise and cater for regional needs. The service will continue to be delivered from locations across England.”

Previously delivered through the Regional Development Agencies the new service will deliver four times the current return on investment.

The Manufacturing Advisory Consortium comprises Grant Thornton, Pera, WM Manufacturing Consortium Ltd and SWMAS Ltd.

Earlier this week the Government made a series of manufacturing announcements to support industry and encourage young people to consider a career in modern manufacturing. Earlier in the day, the Minister visited the BMW plant at Hams Hall to take part in the ‘See Inside Manufacturing’ initiative, where he met a group of young people being taken around the plant.

**Notes to editors
**1. The new MAS offer will comprise:

Level 1 (Enquiries)
Provided by a small team of experienced advisors geographically dispersed round England ensuring detailed local knowledge supported by an enhanced website offering a range of online support packages.

Level 2 (Manufacturing Review)
Continue to provide 1 day (2 days for more complex businesses), on-site specialist manufacturing diagnostic review. MAC will use a new diagnostic tool based on the principles of “Manufacturing Excellence” developed in conjunction with the Warwick Manufacturing Group which includes comparisons against best-in-class. In addition, a “Fast Track” over the ‘phone Level 2 will be introduced for common, well understood issues.

Level 3 (Events)
Continue to provide training and networking events, including best practice visits. These will be an integral part of delivering the Business Improvement actions identified at Level 2. This will be complemented by a Sustainable Improvement Community using best practice social networking tools to provide peer-led best practice examples and lower cost forms of self help.

Level 4 (Consultancy)
Introduction of a three tier Level 4 project structure:
* MAS Foundation Service: Funding up to £1,000 (or a maximum of 50%) towards an improvement project - targeted at companies who need basic low level help.
* MAS Step Change Service: Funding of up to £3,000 (or 50% maximum) towards a more significant improvement programme.
* MAS Transformation Service: Funding of up to £10,000 (or 50% maximum) for a strategic change to the business.

Level 5 (Referrals)
MAS advisors are responsible for identifying partner organisation support but retain responsibility for referral until it is demonstrated and confirmed by the client that the partner organisation has addressed the client need.

Supply Chain
Focus on helping SMEs diversify into advanced manufacturing supply
chains; helping original equipment manufacturers and their supply chains develop better relationships and greater efficiency; helping groups of SMEs in supply chains or clusters interact more effectively. It will use the tools available through Levels 1 - 5 with custom implementation packages assembled to suit client needs delivered by a team of dedicated supply chain experts.

  1. The ‘See Inside Manufacturing’ initiative, being piloted by the automotive sector this year, is open to all young people in the UK, providing a unique opportunity to get behind the scenes of some of the UK’s world-class automotive facilities to learn about modern manufacturing and the range of rewarding jobs available in this exciting and diverse sector. The initiative will be rolled out to the rest of the manufacturing centre next year.

  2. The quoted figures on growth potential and job creation are based on best practice from four experienced MAS suppliers with innovative strategies to increase client outcomes and reduce costs. The forecast outcomes are based on evidence from past performance and proven capability to replicate and scale best possible outcomes nationally.

  3. BIS’s online newsroom contains the latest press notices, speeches, as well as video and images for download. It also features an up to date list of BIS press office contacts. See for more information.

Notes to Editors

Contact Information

Name BIS Press Office Job Title

Division COI Phone




Name Nick Evans Job Title

Division Department for Business, Innovation and Skills Phone 020 7215 3496 Fax



Published 14 October 2011