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South West manufacturers urged to apply for new product support with grant funding

PUBLISHED: 10:03 25 March 2014 | UPDATED: 10:03 25 March 2014

Paul Gilbert

Paul Gilbert


The South West Manufacturing Advisory Service (SWMAS Ltd) is urging SME manufacturing businesses across the South West* to submit applications for new product support with grant funding as its Product Development Centre (PDC) project enters its final stage of operation.

The PDC, which is part-funded by the European Regional Development Fund (2007-2013) Competitiveness Programme, is a dedicated support programme focused on helping accelerate the development and introduction of new products from concept to commercial reality. The project can provide access to grants worth up to £10k to support up to 40 per cent of external costs associated with new product development.

To date, over 125 companies across the region, from sectors including environmental, food and drink, plastics, automotive, marine and electronics, have benefited from grant funding and the business mentoring and support provided by the PDC.

Paul Gilbert, Innovation Advisor at SWMAS, said: “The project has been a tremendous success to date but we are committed to ensuring that as many eligible businesses as possible access this unique support while it is still available. We are now particularly focused on assisting businesses with 25+ employees and a £1m+ turnover, offering a bespoke package of support tailored to suit each company’s specific needs.”

One company that has already benefited from the PDC project is Plasloc Ltd. Stephen Matthews, Managing Director, commented: “Right from our initial consultation SWMAS have been very helpful. The advisors understand our business and what we are looking to achieve and it took just a couple of weeks for the project to commence following our first meeting.”

Western Air Ducts has also received support from SWMAS. Chris Lintern, Managing Director, said: “SWMAS provided us with the capability to access funding that we wouldn’t have even considered applying for before. We have been impressed with the ease of the process and how responsive they have been throughout the project.”

For more information, to check your eligibility or arrange a free PDC Innovation Review, call Kathryn Edwards, Business Development, SWMAS, on 07870 251694 or email

The Product Development Centre (PDC)

PDC provides businesses with a dedicated service to support innovation. The main focus of support is on the development and introduction of new products - accelerating the journey - from concept to commercial reality. The PDC is keen to support companies developing products with a focus on reducing their carbon footprint.

A bespoke package of support will be put together tailored to each company’s needs. PDC can provide help with business strategy, Intellectual Property (IP), legislation, identifying and accessing markets, product and tooling design, prototyping, testing, and more.

The offer:

• A free Innovation Review and Action Plan to highlight the key areas for support and ensure you receive the most appropriate help at the right time

• Grants to support 40% of external costs associated with your product development

• Access to an exclusive ‘Knowledge Hub’, linking you with specialist expertise within universities, colleges and research centres

• Signposting to further support from MAS & other providers to ensure you maximise the support available for your business

The PDC project is being led by SWMAS Ltd and is part funded by the European Regional Development Fund (2007 to 2013) Competitiveness Programme.

*To qualify, a company must be a small and medium-sized (SME) business located in the South West of England (except for Cornwall and the Isles of Scilly) and be in an eligible sector.

For more information, to check your eligibility or arrange a free PDC Innovation Review, call 01392 241 301, email or visit

The Department for Communities and Local Government is the managing authority for the European Regional Development Fund Programme, which is one of the funds established by the European Commission to help local areas stimulate their economic development by investing in projects which will support local businesses and create jobs. For more information visit


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