ALMOST 50 new manufacturing jobs have been created across North Yorkshire following the launch of a business support initiative for the sector - and there still £2.5 million available in grants.

Small to medium-sized manufacturers in North Yorkshire have created 46 jobs in the last eighteen months after tapping into the Manufacturing Growth Programme (MGP).

The initiative, funded by the European Regional Development Fund (ERDF) and delivered by Economic Growth Solutions (EGS), has helped companies across the area to grow, develop new products and improve their processes and quality.

This has led to 46 new jobs, with an additional 35 positions expected to be created once ongoing projects are completed.

By the end of January, nearly £140,000 of grant contributions had been made, with money in place to support hundreds more between now and March 2019.

Martin Coats, managing director of EGS, said: “UK manufacturing has just posted its ninth consecutive month of growth and North Yorkshire SMEs are at the forefront of leading this expansion.

“It is great to see we are playing our role with our manufacturing experts able to get under the skin of what support firms need to grow. We understand the language MDs are talking and can guide them on making the right decisions, before bringing in specialists on specific issues they are facing or opportunities they’re looking to explore.

“Across the UK, more than 2000 companies have now been assisted and we’ve created more than 1000 new jobs…those are apprentices, operatives, experienced engineers, R&D specialists. The impact has been across the UK and we still have £2.5 million of grants to deliver.

“We want manufacturers to come forward and see how they can take advantage of the assistance on offer.”

The Manufacturing Growth Programme was set up to fill the void left by the Manufacturing Advice Service (MAS) by providing access to specialist assistance to help manufacturers to grow and improve.

Locally it helped Topcliffe-based K2 Design & Fabrication Ltd, which fabricates specialist car parts, set up social media marketing strategies, which saw the firm secure 80 orders from as far afield as Singapore and Australia within half an hour of posting about the business online.