Sussex manufacturers invited to business forum

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MANUFACTURERS across Sussex are invited to join a new manufacturing forum to share experiences and to help grow their businesses.

The Sussex Manufacturing Forum is reaching out to around 3,500 manufacturing businesses based in East and West Sussex who between them contribute around £4billion to the local economy and employ an estimated 50,000 people.

“There is a widely held perception that as a nation we don’t ‘make’ anything anymore, but Sussex is home to world renowned businesses such as Rolls Royce Motor Cars, Ricardo, Thales, The Body Shop, Varian Medical Systems and B&W Loudspeakers, and also boasts highly innovative sectors such as the new media industry in Brighton,” said Chris Coopey, one of the founding members of the forum, and manufacturing partner at Carpenter Box chartered accountants and tax advisers.

“Whether companies make, assemble, design, grow, stitch, mill, extrude, turn, brew, weld or do anything else to make things, we want to hear from them.”

With the inaugural event planned in Crawley on September 25, the forum aims to provide Sussex-based manufacturers of all sizes and from all industry sectors with an opportunity to learn about techniques, practices and solutions that will benefit their business, while encouraging supply chain co-operation.

“This local manufacturing industry is critical to the development of our local economy - creating jobs and wealth - while at the same time contributing to the government’s stated aim of rebalancing the UK economy,” said Mr Coopey.

Forum events will be free to attend and will provide an opportunity for businesses to network with each other, to share knowledge and to set the agenda for future meetings.

The inaugural event will feature a keynote presentation by Geoff Edwards, chief operating officer of Queen’s Award winning Bowers & Wilkins Loudspeakers. Representatives from Forum sponsors UKTI, HSBC Bank and Carpenter Box will be joined by specialists from the Manufacturing Advisory Service to offer advice on everything from lean processes to exporting and R&D tax claims.

For more information on the forum and the inaugural event go to