Posted on 19th July 2016
METALL launches with a sell-out first event
Over 30 manufacturing, engineering and technology businesses, who between them employ over 5,000 skilled people within the Gatwick Diamond, have helped launch a new association for the region’s manufacturing, engineering and technology industries.
The companies attended the first meeting of METALL (Manufacturing, Engineering & Technology Alliance) at Roffey Park, Horsham, to hear from experts in innovation. The event was hosted by Sussex and Gatwick-based chartered accountants, Carpenter Box, together with fellow sponsors asb law and recruitment agency, CBSbutler.
Keynote speakers Dr Robert Pearson of Cobham Antennas and Dr Zoe Webster of Innovate UK, each did a fantastic job of explaining what innovation looks like, how it can be achieved and how it can be funded.
The meeting discussed how ‘passion’ to solve a problem and provide a solution, when harnessed effectively can become a massive and unstoppable force. They also spoke about the power of collaboration among smaller businesses, who have the agility to develop big ideas quicker than their larger counterparts. Sources of funding for innovative ideas were also discussed, with the meeting hearing about the various signposting services available for grant funding, which can sometimes make the difference between an idea that doesn’t progress and one that does.
Chris Coopey, Head of the Manufacturing, Engineering and Technology Group at Carpenter Box, commented: “I was delighted with the response to this first event. The audience were keen to listen to our speakers as well as share their own thoughts and ideas with the group. Inevitably, the possible effects and challenges of Brexit were also discussed at the meeting, but the consensus was that it was far too early to predict how the sector would be affected. There were concerns about currency fluctuation, possible trade tariffs and the difficulty of finding skilled and motivated staff if restrictions on recruitment from overseas becomes a reality, but we will have to wait to see what the outcome will be. The reality is that we will have to trade our way out of whatever problems Brexit creates and in relation to that, we hope METALL can have a really positive effect.”
METALL is a forum for manufacturing, engineering and technology businesses based in Sussex and Surrey. It aims to provide a networking opportunity for these businesses and to signpost growth opportunities, whilst allowing them to discuss issues affecting their business. Over time, a strong cohort of members will build relationships between businesses, education, Local Enterprise Partnerships and local government to help business grow in efficiency and profitability.
"If Carlsberg did networking they would do it the BHBPA way. Each event is packed with great ideas, thought provoking presentations and fun. As a small business we feel supported and part of the community. We have built friendships and business relationships and there is always plenty of advice on hand to benefit us all so don’t hesitate to join whatever the nature of your business. "
"The BHBPA is the most effective and dynamic business organisation I have ever worked with in over 30 years in Local Government. It has a very active and large membership whose points of view are taken seriously by all government structures. Peter Liddell does an excellent job in providing unique and enjoyable networking opportunities where members interact and discuss points of mutual interest. It provides a forum for businesses to discuss common issues, to share experiences and to play a powerful and meaningful role in the Burgess Hill community. The BHBPA provides important and credible support for all its members and ensures that their best interests are represented where necessary. "
"I am delighted to have a long-standing relationship with the BHBPA. Since its foundation the Association has gone from strength to strength and there is no doubt that it has brought huge benefits to its members and the business community as a whole through the partnerships it has formed with the local authorities, Sussex Police and local organisations. It is paramount that Burgess Hill businesses have an effective collective voice."
""BHBPA is a really well organised and run group, great for networking and benefitting from knowledgeable local speakers with real business insight. Peter brings enthusiasm and humour which helps drive the association forward. I am glad to be part of it.""