EEF backs industry growth with regional role

EEF has appointed a regional director for Yorkshire and Humber, in recognition of the “huge potential” for development in the area.

The new role is part of the manufacturing organisation’s wider restructuring of resources, aimed at providing greater support to manufacturing companies in the region.

Andy Tuscher is regional director for Yorkshire and Humber and is responsible for representing member companies, as well as leading EEF policy and activities for the region.

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It comes as the region’s manufacturers look to capitalise on renewed appetite for large-scale innovative schemes.

Major projects, such as the Able Marine Energy Park in North Lincolnshire and Green Port Hull, have the ability to transform the region and its prospects, EEF said.

Proposals for Able Marine Energy Park include a 900-acre site with almost 1.3km of deep water quays developed to support vast new North Sea wind farms, potentially creating 4,000 new jobs for the area.

Green Port Hull, which received a £160m investment commitment from Siemens for wind turbine production, is expected to create 1,000 jobs.

The region’s profile has also been boosted by the University of Sheffield Advanced Manufacturing Research Centre (AMRC), which has trained 160 apprentices since obtaining its funding last October and welcomed a new intake of apprentices last month.

While the region’s manufacturing industry has recovered well since the recession, Mr Tuscher said it must not lose momentum.

Mr Tuscher said: “Yorkshire and Humber manufacturers are putting the recession behind them and are on the road to growth.

“While their path is undoubtedly smoother than a few years ago, there are still some bumps and humps that could push them into the slow lane or even onto the hard shoulder. This is why it’s vital that our region remains focussed.”

EEF said it wants the manufacturing sector to be at the forefront of an export-led recovery. Despite challenges, such as the strong pound and uncertainty in overseas markets, there is evidence of manufacturers applying sophisticated strategies to seek new markets, the organisation said.

“There’s scope for more of our firms to realise the benefits of exporting and, especially, of taking their goods further afield to faster growing emerging market economies,” Mr Tuscher said.

EEF’s regional activities include the Y&H SME Manufacturing Growth Forum.

The scheme aims to raise awareness of supply chain activity, provide informal peer-to-peer support and opportunities for small and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs) to identify growth barriers.

The organisation is also hosting the EFF Yorkshire and the Humber Manufacturing Dinner on November 11 at Royal Armouries Leeds.

A small number of tickets are still available for the Lloyds Bank-sponsored event, which provides a networking opportunity for manufacturers.

Mr Tuscher said: “We are working with the wider business support network to pull together and keep our blossoming economy on track.

“Manufacturing has a critical role to play in a strong, rebalanced economy and that is as true in Yorkshire and Humber as it is for the UK as a whole.”