New West Suffolk business group will work as ‘one engine’ to drive growth
A new group which brings together manufacturing and engineering businesses to ‘ensure the region becomes more globally competitive’ has held its inaugural meeting in Bury St Edmunds.
Nearly 24 firms gathered to ‘work as one engine driving ideas’ and network as part of the West Suffolk Advanced Manufacturing and Engineering Group at Denny Bros, in Kempson Way.
It was organised by West Suffolk councils and the New Anglia Local Enterprise Partnership.
Among those who attended was Paul Gormley, managing director of Helmsman, in Northern Way, Bury, which manufactures lockers, toilet cubicles and bench seating.
He said the meeting was ‘very good and constructive’ and had helped them to develop contacts for potential business opportunities.
Mr Gormley noted that the EEF, the manufacturers' organisation, is looking to put them in touch with the MOD and there was also a connection with West Suffolk College about apprenticeships.
Cllr Susan Glossop, cabinet member for planning and growth at St Edmundsbury Borough Council, said the meeting provided ‘lots of potential for the future’.
“This new group offers the chance for local businesses to collaborate, to speak with one voice, to network and to further develop their own local supply chain,” she said.
“It will ensure the region goes on to become even more globally competitive.
“Just as many of these businesses manufacture component parts, they will each come together to work as one engine driving ideas, initiatives and shared learning, all for their collective success and to further boost jobs and skills development here in West Suffolk.”
Cllr Lance Stanbury, Forest Heath’s cabinet member for planning and growth, said the authority is working with business sectors and marrying them up with the skills development in schools, colleges and universities including the new Science, Technology, Engineering and Mathematics (STEM) facility being opened by West Suffolk College.
Jamie Thums, chairman of New Anglia Advanced Manufacturing and Engineering ‘NAAME’ sector group, added that West Suffolk is now the sixth regional group that has been established and they will be working closely with all concerned to ‘maximise opportunities’.
Future meetings will rotate between other towns in West Suffolk.
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