Manufacturing and engineering firms share ideas to support industry

The first meeting of a business group designed to further advanced manufacturing and engineering in

The first meeting of a business group designed to further advanced manufacturing and engineering in West Suffolk Picture: WEST SUFFOLK COUNCILS - Credit: WEST SUFFOLK COUNCILS

A new west Suffolk manufacturing and engineering group aims to help the region “become even more globally competitive”.

The inaugural meeting of the newly-formed West Suffolk Advanced Manufacturing and Engineering Group on Wednesday, January 23, saw nearly two dozen businesses from across the area come together to share ideas with a view to boosting skills and jobs in the area.

The business group meeting was organised by West Suffolk councils and the New Anglia Local Enterprise Partnership.

Susan Glossop, cabinet member for planning and growth at St Edmundsbury Borough Council, said: “It was a positive inaugural meeting offering lots of potential for the future.

“We have a strong and diverse mix of manufacturing and engineering businesses in west Suffolk and 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.

“It will ensure that 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.”

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Lance Stanbury, Forest Heath’s cabinet member for planning and growth, said: “This is an important business sector and the creation of this new group is an exciting new development for the growth of business and skills in west Suffolk.

“The council is already working with business sectors and marrying them up with the skills development taking place in our schools, colleges and universities including the new Science, Technology, Engineering and Mathematics (STEM) facility being opened by West Suffolk College.

“The formation of the new West Suffolk Council in just a few months’ time will also put us in a stronger position as we lobby to get more investment in infrastructure for the region – infrastructure to help the area continue to thrive and succeed long into the future.”

Jamie Thums is chief operating officer of Norwich-based Lintott Control Systems Limited and chair of New Anglia Advanced Manufacturing and Engineering “NAAME” sector group.

He said: “NAMME is charged with representing and championing the sector, which is one of the largest in the region.

“West Suffolk is now the sixth regional group that has been established and my NAAME colleagues and I will be working closely with all concerned to maximise the opportunities and to ensure positive outcomes for all concerned.”

The first meeting was held at Denny Bros in Kempson Way, Bury St Edmunds. Future meetings of the group will rotate between other towns in west Suffolk.

The meetings are free to attend. Any businesses wishing to register to find out when the next meeting of the group will be held should email