The Hull and East Yorkshire Local Enterprise Partnership (HEY LEP) is marking a hat-trick of meetings of the newly formed Hull & East Yorkshire Manufacturers Network.
The network was formed in March 2023 in response to business feedback and requests received via the LEP’s Business Growth Hub and so far, has been joined by 13 manufacturing firms from across the region.
It has been established to support the growth and prosperity of the Hull & East Yorkshire manufacturing sector, by bringing together manufacturing firms to share best practice, develop knowledge, champion the sector, and to raise awareness of the trading challenges faced by manufacturers.
The first meeting took place on Thursday 2nd March and heard from David Hall, MD of Beverley Park Homes, who talked about the challenges faced by his business over the past 12 months and how his firm has striven to overcome these.
The following meeting on Tuesday 4th April featured a roundtable discussion between members about the vision, aims and objectives of the network to gauge the requirements of members.
The third meeting on Thursday 15th June saw expert Process Efficiency Consultant Mark Greenhouse of Levantar Consulting deliver a mini workshop on productivity gain in SME manufacturing firms, as well a discussion amongst members about the current challenges facing their businesses, including recruitment and skills challenges.
The Manufacturers Network has now agreed a set of aims and objectives that will inform activity going forwards. This includes the development of an events programme to help share insight, best practice and guidance on such matters and recruitment & skills, process improvement, cost control, R&D, funding and exporting.
Further aims include a desire to better understand the manufacturing capabilities of the region, to provide a “unified voice” for the manufacturing sector in Hull & East Yorkshire, and to provide networking opportunities between manufacturing firms.
There is also an aim to support workforce upskilling of regional manufacturing businesses, including efforts to deal with the recruitment and skills challenges faced by the sector.
Lindsay West, Joint Managing Director at packaging manufacturing Garthwest, said: “Manufacturing is in the DNA of our region. By establishing the HEY Manufacturers Network, the LEP has created a great forum for manufacturers to come together and share best practice and discuss issues that face the sector.
“The foundations of a strong voice for the manufacturing sector have been laid and I look forward to working with the group to further establish this.”
Jon Brunton, Growth Hub Manager at HEY LEP, said “We’re lucky to have a vibrant manufacturing sector in Hull and East Yorkshire, but the sector has faced some substantial challenges over the past few years.
“That’s why we’ve formed the HEY Manufacturers Network to act as a forum for our reginal manufacturing base to come together, to share best practice, discuss challenges in common, and to champion both the strengths – and challenges – of the sector.
“All manufacturing firms from the region are welcome to join us at network events. There is no charge to join and all events are free to attend.
“I would highly encourage manufacturers to join us as we look to grow the profile and activities of the network.”
The Manufacturers Network will now take a break for the summer holiday season, with the next meeting of the network taking place on Thursday 7th September at Ideal Heating, National Avenue, Hull.
Members will be given a tour of the Ideal Heating factory, followed by a presentation on how the company implements productivity and efficiency processes.
To find out more about the HEY Manufacturers Network, and to view upcoming Network events, please visit heygrowthhub.com/hey-manufacturers-network or contact the HEY Growth Hub at email@example.com