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Free support now available for manufacturing SMEs


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The Leeds City Region Supply Chain Programme based at the 3M BIC is offering 12-hours’ free support for manufacturing SMEs or SMEs that supply to the manufacturing sector.

The LCR Supply Chain Programme is a non-profit business support programme delivered by the University of Huddersfield and funded by the ERDF. It provides strategic supply chain support to local SMEs and associated services in the manufacturing sector to help boost the industry to help grow, improve or develop their supply chains.

Below is a step-by-step guide of what the 12 hours will provide for eligible businesses:


There are several ways that you can contact the LCR Supply Chain Programme. You can send an enquiry through their website, connect with them on LinkedIn, or you may get referred through your regional growth manager or a consultant. In the first instance, programme advisors will carry out initial checks for eligibility and gather some top line information on your company, to ensure a basic understanding of your business.

To be eligible for support, your business must be a manufacturing SME based in the Leeds City Region or an SME supplying to the manufacturing sector, be registered with Company House and meet ERDF eligibility criteria. Once eligibility has been established, a meeting will be arranged with you to kickstart the process.


The next stage will be the first meeting. Here, your assigned advisor would discuss the business with you in further detail and dive into things such as: the business history, where you are now, and look at your growth plans and ideas for the future. Your advisor will carry out the programme’s in-house diagnostic, which enables them to present a review of the company, identify any areas that can be improved, developed, or where there is a need for focus (think of them as a critical friend). Then a further meeting would usually be arranged.


Following in-depth discussions with your advisor, a priority set of actions & recommendations will be developed, fed back, and agreed, to take the business forward in terms of growth and performance. These typically focus on the top areas (utilising the information identified in the diagnostic), that will have the greatest impact to the business in the next 12-36 months. It can often take a few sessions before the final plan is agreed.


The programme is delivered by a team of manufacturing and commercial experts, all who have significant experience gained from working across a wide range of sectors within the manufacturing industry. Advisors are there to help and will work with you and your teams, as appropriate, to help implement the agreed actions identified. This means they will engage with you on a regular basis and are willing to have several onsite meetings.

Where specific, key areas have been identified from the initial diagnostic, a more in-depth look may be needed. The programme also has a selection of advanced diagnostic tools, such as: ‘Business and Supply Chain Diagnostic’, ‘Technology Diagnostic’, ‘Productivity Diagnostic’ and more.


All European funded programmes require a level of paperwork to be completed and signed by the businesses taking advantage of the support available. The programme advisors will take much of the burden from you and will explain what documentation you will be required to sign off as part of your engagement in the programme.

If you have any further questions, or think your business could benefit from spending some time with the LCR Supply Chain Programme team, then feel free to drop an email to

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