Welcome to the Friday Brief for 25 July 2014.
GDP figures released by the ONS this morning shows that the UK economy has finally returned to its pre-recession position. It has taken 25 quarters, making this the longest recession since quarterly records began in the mid-1950s. The strong growth in the UK economy, which is now +3.1% larger than it was a year ago, has been generated mainly by the service sector, with manufacturing growth relatively modest over the past quarter at +0.2%. The detailed industry figures which are due out in a couple of weeks’ time will indicate whether this is a general trend or if there are specific industries which are dragging the overall manufacturing growth rate down.
We have news this week of the National Aerospace Technology Exploitation Programme (NATEP) aimed at small and medium sized suppliers. The Programme will help SMEs develop their own innovative technologies to enhance their capabilities and increase their ability to win new business with higher tier compa¬nies anywhere in the world. The NATEP has emerged through the Aerospace Growth Partnership to develop a supply chain with a high rate of innovation enabling the UK to ensure that market opportunities are exploited and high value manufacturing work retained in the UK.
There are details this week of two initiatives aimed primarily at businesses in the Midlands. The deadline for submission of applications to the Business Innovation Programme (BIP) fund Round 1 is Friday 1st August. The BIP aims to stimulate innovation within SMEs so as to encourage and enable existing businesses to invest for the future, to lever private sector investment, create new and safeguard existing jobs. We also have been informed of a networking event hosted by EBRI, Aston University on 29 July providing an opportunity to learn more about the wide variety of low carbon development funding schemes available for Midlands SMEs.
First details of the annual MTA Members Golf Day are announced this week. This popular event will be held on 24 September 2014 at the scenic Hellidon Lakes Golf & Spa Hotel, Daventry, Northamptonshire. Only 20 teams can take part so don’t delay selecting your team and making an application.
Members attending IMTS in Chicago will be interested in an invitation to attend a UKTI hosted networking reception on the evening of Tuesday 9th September. We have full details of the networking reception in the brief.
Finally, congratulations should go to MTA President, Mark Ridgway OBE, who this week received an Honorary Doctorate of Technology from Leeds Metropolitan University for his contribution to industry and commerce, to public life and the voluntary service.
Have a good weekend.