Yorkshire engineering firms to get funding advice to accelerate growth

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A two-day event hosted by the British Valve and Actuator Association (BVAA) in Brighouse in February will kick-off with a workshop looking at how business leaders can access grants and support through Local Enterprise Partnerships.

Delivered by Leeds City Region Enterprise Partnership (LEP) Growth Service, the free session will explore how to access the support available, and how to make a strong bid to secure this.

North of England Local Enterprise Partnerships are more closely involved with the Northern Powerhouse initiative since the formation of the NP11 ‘Council of the North’ last year. And BVAA Director Rob Bartlett believes the workshop could help business leaders identify and apply for support and funding more strategically and effectively.

“Many engineering businesses are aware that funding opportunities exist, but they don’t necessarily have the inhouse resources to properly investigate or apply for them,” Bartlett explains. “The session will arm them with the insights they need to identify potential growth areas that could be eligible for loans or match-funded grants.”

After the opening session, delegates have the option to join a motivational talk from John Nichol, retired RAF Navigator and former Prisoner-of-War, followed by dinner. The second day of the conference involves a desktop exhibition and ‘speed dating’ new business sessions with large valve and actuator companies that are actively looking for new suppliers.

“John Nichol’s story of survivorship and resilience is sure to strike a chord with attendees,” says Bartlett. “No doubt it will be as humbling as it is inspiring, and we’re thrilled that he has agreed to join this BVAA event. We’re also very pleased to help facilitate meetings between local businesses and larger manufacturers that are looking to extend their supplier networks.”

The BVAA’s Dinner and Supplier Day will run from February 26th (afternoon and evening) to February 27th (morning only) at Holiday Inn Brighouse.

The BVAA has represented the British valve and actuator industry for 80 years, and has around 200 members ranging from specialist SMEs to global engineering firms. The industry is a major STEM employer in the UK: 9,000 people are directly employed by valve and actuator businesses, and the industry contributes £3bn to the UK economy each year.