Scottish business advisory group’s ‘record savings’

John Swinney praised the work of the advisory service. Picture: Neil Hanna
John Swinney praised the work of the advisory service. Picture: Neil Hanna
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The Scottish Government’s manufacturing support service took on 23 fewer projects last year but insisted that the programme delivered “record savings” for businesses to the tune of £21 million.

The Scottish Manufacturing Advisory Service (Smas), part of Scottish Enterprise, said it fulfilled 184 business efficiency projects for manufacturing firms in 2012-13, adding that it had seen a move away from “fix it” type projects to higher impact “transformational” projects.

Nick Shields, director of Smas, said: “Encouraging and supporting these types of projects is not only key to driving growth in Scotland’s manufacturing sector, but provides a platform for companies to access higher value support such as exporting, innovation and account management.

“It’s these improvements which will increase productivity, boost competitiveness and help develop new products or processes which will help to open up new markets both at home and overseas,” he added.

About 75 of the projects were in food and drink and the energy/engineering sectors, Smas said.

Finance minister John Swinney welcomed the results during a visit to Bathgate-based electronics firm Plexus to officially open its manufacturing and design facility. He said: “Since it was set up in 2006, Smas has delivered 870 business improvement projects contributing over £110m of value added benefits to Scotland’s economy. Supporting businesses now and in the future to be more competitive will mean Scottish companies have the best chance of success.”