Spotlight on composite industry at event

November 8, 2016
Marches LEP-Duncan Varnes

Businesses operating in the Midlands’ composite industry are being invited to a special event that will focus on the help and support available to the sector.
Supporting Composites Industry Growth in the West Midlands at the University of Wolverhampton’s Telford campus on November 23 will feature a number of guest speakers, including LEP Director Gill Hamer.
Gill will join experts speaking on funding, innovation, manufacturing, and supporting growth at the day-long event organised by Composites UK in partnership with the Marches Growth Hub, University of Wolverhampton, Lloyds Bank, and the Department of International Trade.
Duncan Varnes, Operations Director with GKN Land Systems is a LEP board member and the partnership’s Manufacturing Champion. He said: “Specialist events like this are vital to shine a light on the range of support that is available to help businesses grow and thrive.
“There will be a wealth of knowledge to be shared and the opportunity for those working in the composite industry to make valuable connections.”
Gerald Whitworth from the Department of International Trade will speak about export opportunities, Ciaran Leaden from Lloyds Bank on support for manufacturers, and Stella Job from Composites UK on supporting growth in the UK supply chain.
Optional afternoon activities include a tour of the University of Wolverhampton and the chance to meet Eastern European companies looking for UK suppliers.
To register for the free event, book online:
09:30 Registration
10:00 Introduction – Stella Job, Composites UK
10:05 Welcome – Professor Ian Oakes, University of Wolverhampton
10:10 LEP Activity in the West Midlands – Gill Hamer, Marches LEP
10:25 Composites UK: Supporting growth in the UK supply chain – Stella Job, Composites UK
10:35 Developing composites capability for the automotive sector – Henry Sarel-Cooke, GKN Land Systems (Autostructures)
10:50 Case Study
11:05 Networking & Refreshment break
11:35 Lloyds Bank: Support for Manufacturers – Ciaran Leaden, Lloyds Bank
11:45 Innovation support for small companies in the West Midlands – Prof Andrew Pollard, University of Wolverhampton
11.55 Case Study
12:05 West Midlands Manufacturing Club: Composites Cluster Launch – Rebecca Macdonald, University of Wolverhampton
12:20 Export Opportunities – Department for International Trade (formerly UKTI) – Gerald Whitworth, DIT
12.30 Lunch
13:30 – 15:30 – optional afternoon activities:
Tour of the University of Wolverhampton & Formula 3 activities only
Composites UK meeting* plus tour of the University of Wolverhampton & Formula 3 activities
Eastern European Trade Mission – one to one meetings between delegates and Eastern
European companies set up by DIT looking for UK suppliers to their industry.
*The Composites UK meeting is open to members and non-members wishing to discuss how to make the most of membership to the association in detail.

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The Marches Local Enterprise Partnership has now ceased trading and transferred all its functions to Shropshire Council working with Telford & Wrekin Council and Herefordshire Council, in line with the UK Government's plans for devolution.

The Marches LEP was established in 2011 and hands over an impressive legacy from its 13-year life. In that time the LEP invested over £196m in projects across the Marches, securing in excess of £100m of match funding and supported more than 66,000 business interactions.

The schemes supported have made tangible differences to local communities, increasing skills, creating jobs and improving the physical appearance of many towns.

We would like to thank all the LEP Board Members who have given their time freely over the life of the LEP, as well as all the staff who worked for the LEP over the years. We also want to thank our delivery partners, local education providers and local, regional and national stakeholders who helped us achieve so much.

The Marches Growth Hub will continue to support businesses and will be managed by Shropshire Council, supported by Telford and Wrekin and Herefordshire Councils. Each of the three Local Authorities will also continue to provide direct business support locally. Details of this support will be available through the Marches Growth Hub website and from the Local Authorities directly. Website: | email:

The Marches Careers Hub will continue to be delivered and will be managed by Shropshire Council, supported by Telford & Wrekin and Herefordshire Councils. Website: | email:

For any queries about Getting Building Fund (GBF), Local Growth Fund (LGF) and Marches Investment Fund (MIF) projects supported by the Marches LEP please contact:

For any finance queries please contact:

The solvent liquidation of the Marches LEP is being managed by the Evelyn Partners Limited. For any matter related to this please contact:

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