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Manufacturing Wales Launches to Champion and Future-proof Manufacturing Across Wales

12 November 2020

A new voice to represent the vision and ambitions of manufacturers across Wales has been launched – raising the credibility of Welsh manufacturing brands, maximising value chain opportunities and building-in resilience for member organisations – to great applause from business leaders and research bodies.

Manufacturing Wales is a collaborative consortium created specifically to help meet the complex needs of Welsh-based manufacturers serving all sectors in the UK and globally. Founder members already include major names such as Creo Medical, FSG, IQE, Penderyn, Prosteel Engineering, Rototherm, Safety Letterbox and SPTS Technologies (a KLA company) – establishing a pioneering new eco-system focused on making member businesses more efficient, future-proofed and sustainably successful by sharing ideas, innovations, intelligence, connections and market opportunities.

Frank Holmes, Chair of Manufacturing Wales, said: “Manufacturing Wales is an industry led response to local and international changes facing the manufacturing industry across its many sectors, recognising the importance of quality output, strengthening supply chains, embracing innovation and best practices, investing in skills and future career opportunities throughout Wales. The business network will collaborate with academia, including HE and FE, in a bonafide partnership focussed on R&D commercialisation and employment. Manufacturing Wales is ambitious and will proudly promote Wales’ as a connected ecosystem delivering world class manufacturing capability and products.”

Fully supported by Acuity LawBarclays Bank and Business News Wales, Manufacturing Wales has also forged the closest possible partnerships with the brightest minds in Welsh colleges and universities.

Matthew Taylor, Director of Innovation at Cardiff Metropolitan University, warmly welcomed this major new development: “Sharing problems and finding solutions is essential in today’s economy. Which is why Manufacturing Wales, with its commitment to working in deep partnership with Universities as well as established manufacturing operations, is such an exciting new force for good.”

Barclays Bank is equally excited to be part of this new driver for sustainable success, with Karen Thomas, Head of South Wales Corporate for Barclays explaining: “The Welsh manufacturing sector is highly dynamic, with strong potential for investment and growth. Manufacturing Wales can be a real focus for the knowledge transfer, shared learning technologies and rapid deployment of these all-important insights. We’re delighted to be a part of this.”

Alison Orrells, CEO & Managing Director at The Safety Letterbox Company said: "We look forward to supporting and promoting the best innovation, skill and drive that exists within Manufacturing in Wales. Providing a voice and encouraging a collaborative platform with a view to expose best practice, share resource, skill and support to enable prosperity and a positive economic impact. Companies involved can look forward to an association with an exclusive and unique collection of businesses, that all achieve the prestigious stamp of approval that will become synonymous with the most successful and innovative Welsh manufacturers. It is a great opportunity to be pulling together to expose what we can really be achieved."

Andrew Evans, Senior Director from SPTS Technologies Ltd, said: “Manufacturing Wales is about responsibly building a profitable and sustainable future for ‘Made in Wales’. It’s about shining the spotlight on Welsh manufacturing businesses and rich ecosystem that exists here to our local, national and international markets.”

Paul Byard, Managing Director at FSG Tool and Die Ltd: "Wales' Manufacturing sector represents the greatest opportunity to rebalance the economy and drive sector resilience for our future generations. Manufacturing in Wales can provide innovation, process and understanding of the future skills needed to adopt new technology, productivity and exploit the commercial advantages from this competitive position.

The IoD in Wales celebrated the “perfect timing” of the launch, with Robert Lloyd Griffiths OBE, Director, noting: “COVID-19 has proven many supply chain assumptions to be wrong; and with the Brexit scenario still to play out, Manufacturing Wales represents a shining light for the world-class potential shown throughout Welsh manufacturing, from our traditional industries right through to the emerging green and tech sectors.”

As one of the original team behind the Manufacturing Wales concept, Mark Powney, MD of Business News Wales, is delighted to see this dynamic new community come to life: “I’m so pleased that an off-the-cuff podcast and follow up conversation at the very beginning of covid has materialised into a much-needed organisation with real credibility and intent. What Frank and the founder members have achieved in just a few short months is nothing short of astonishing. It illustrates that when working together, Welsh industry can make really big things happen. Both Welsh and UK governments are doing all they can to support our manufacturing, but our industry needs to champion business growth if Wales is to realise its ambition.”

The full story of Manufacturing Wales can be found at www.manufacturingwales.com – and to discover more about the benefits of becoming a member of Manufacturing Wales, please contact emily.price@manufacturingwales.com

Source: Business News Wales