MP Thérèse Coffey visits Rockford following successful £1.14m SiG bid

Thérèse Coffey MP with Peter Lion, manaing director of Rockford.

Thérèse Coffey MP with Peter Lion, manaing director of Rockford. - Credit: Archant

Suffolk Coastal MP Thérèse Coffey has visited a local company to hear about its successful bid for £1.14million of funding under the Sharing in Growth (SiG) programme.

Rockford, which employs more than 200 people at three sites around the Britain, including a plant at Rendlesham, near Woodbridge, is the largest independent provider of electro-mechanical and wiring assemblies in the UK serving civil aerospace, defence and industrial markets.

SiG, which was set up in 2012, is a £110m programme – consisting of £50m from the Government’s Regional Growth Fund (RGF) and matched funding from from the businesses selected to take part – which aims to help aerospace suppliers to invest in their ability to deliver competitive performance.

Following the appraisal of applications, the SiG programme involves three successive phases for the successful applicants. The first is a 10 to 12 week diagnostic assessment of all key aspects of the applicant’s business, to identify how the programme can offer the applicant business the most benefit.

The next two years includes leadership training for management teams, business improvement training for staff and tailored high-intensity development training covering areas such as lean production, modern manufacturing, sub-tier management, cost management.

The programme then offers ongoing support for a further two years, based on the issues identified in the previous stages, to ensure that the improvements to the applicant’s company are firmly embedded.

Peter Lion, managing director of Rockford, said “Being a beneficiary of Sharing in Growth will enable Rockford to go from being a good company to a great world class company. We are pleased to hear that SiG has been conditionally accepted for further funding from the RGF to carry on with this great program.”

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Carl Miller, operations director, said “We will now be able to increase our apprentice program to better invest in the future of this country’s manufacturing industry. Rockford employ over 120 people from the local area and are now recruiting on the back of SiG to meet our forward looking order book.”

And Barrie Hayter, sales and marketing director added: “This is a great program backed by the Aerospace Growth Partnership (AGP) to improve UK manufacturing so that we can be competitive on a global platform.”

Dr Coffey said: “It is great to see tax payers money invested so effectively on UK SME’s to increase employment and safeguard the future of manufacturing in the UK. We should be very proud of having such a high calibre company in the local area.”