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East Midlands Chamber News

New Manufacturing Advisory Panel to support manufacturing industry in Derbyshire and Nottinghamshire

The D2N2 Local Enterprise Partnership (LEP) has set up a new Manufacturing Advisory Panel to support and accelerate the growth, productivity and competitiveness of the manufacturing industry across Derbyshire and Nottinghamshire.

It will work with manufacturing business leaders, universities, local authorities and business organisations including Make UK to champion and strengthen the sector, which will in turn improve the region’s economic performance.

The LEP estimates the manufacturing sector employs more than 125,000 people and generates £7.2bn into the region’s economy – ranking third outside London and the South-East – and has the largest cluster of transport manufacturing and R&D in the country.

The panel will be chaired by Martin Rigley MBE, CEO and managing director of Lindhurst Engineering, based in Sutton-in-Ashfield.

Martin, a Chamber board member, said: “Clearly, the way manufacturers do business is changing at a rapid rate and it’s important that manufacturing is prepared to face the challenges this brings – particularly in the adoption of digital technologies and meeting net zero targets.

“The Manufacturing Advisory Panel is sector and size-agnostic, and aims to use its strong network among businesses large and small, supported by our strong FE and HE representation, to guide manufacturing businesses in our region through an evolving way of doing business.”

Objectives of D2N2 Manufacturing Advisory Panel

Primary objectives of the panel include developing an action plan for competitive and sustainable manufacturing, as well as co-ordinating, facilitating and forging closer links between academia and industry.

There will be a focus on supporting businesses to adopt digital innovation and disruptive technologies, and embrace low-carbon growth. It also wants to retain the region’s excellence in sectors including aerospace, automotive, food and drink, medical and rail.

The panel will also forge strong connections at a national level, particularly with the Department for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy (BEIS), and Innovate UK.

Sajeeda Rose, CEO of the D2N2 LEP, said: “Manufacturing is our region’s largest sector and employer. As we transform into a more competitive, greener economy, our manufacturers will need support to embrace industrial digitalisation and net-zero challenges.

“We are proud to be bringing together such an impressive group to provide a strong voice for manufacturing across D2N2 to address these challenges and drive our economic growth.”

Charlotte Horobin, region director for Make UK in the Midlands and East, added: “Manufacturing is key to the prosperity of D2N2. The need to ensure our manufacturers are equipping themselves with the skills and technologies to boost their competitiveness has never been so important.”

The D2N2 Manufacturing Advisory Panel met for the first time on 30 June, and will meet every two months to collaborate on how best to drive growth and productivity the region.