NMCL Automotive – Grant Funding to Support Improvements in Competitiveness

Construction Worx takes a look at a government funded programme available to support UK manufacturers seeking to further improve their competitiveness.

NMCL Automotive is a programme that utilises the National Manufacturing Competitiveness Levels (NMCL) system, to support the automotive sector. The programme is led by the Society of Motor Manufacturers & Traders (SMMT) and utilises £16m of Government funding to support improvement through training, coaching, mentoring and consultancy. The programme aims to:

  • Raise workforce capability
  • Increase productivity
  • Boost UK economic growth
  • Increase export levels.

The funding is provided by the Department for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy.

A typical automotive project lasts between 6 months and 2 years and on average attracts £200k of grant funding.

In order to qualify for the programme, companies should be located in the UK and manufacture components, accessories or automotive software for any of the following vehicles;

  • Agricultural and industrial tractors and off-highway vehicles
  • Cars
  • heavy, medium and light commercial vehicles
  • buses and coaches
  • road tractors, trailers and semi-trailers
  • battery electric vehicles
  • motorised and trailer caravans
  • motorbikes

Companies of any size can apply, though priority will be given to SMEs.

NMCL activity starts with an in-depth assessment that identifies priority areas for development, by combining information from the company’s own view of its competitiveness, the views of three customers and a capability assessment, undertaken by an assessment team. The assessment itself typically involves five days of activity on a manufacturer’s site, though currently, a lot of this activity is being carried out ‘virtually’. There is no charge for the assessment.

NMCL Process

The assessment team develops a detailed improvement plan in conjunction with the manufacturer’s leadership team, identifying key areas for development, likely costs, the financial and non-financial performance benefits and impacts on key financial ratios.

Improvement activity is provided to the manufacturer from highly skilled improvement providers who specialise in business improvements and transformation. The manufacturer can choose who they would like to support them from a list of approved improvement providers.

NMCL Automotive is a defrayed cost scheme. Beneficiaries of the scheme must undertake and pay for the improvement activity and then claim for funding against the activity. The beneficiaries make a contribution in the form of employees’ time, making each project broadly ‘cash’ neutral.

Currently, twelve companies have been offered a total of £2.3m. NMCL automotive is open to new applicants and the team would welcome the opportunity to work with more companies in the construction equipment sector.

Companies can find out more about the programme and register their interest to take part in the NMCL Automotive programme by visiting the NMCL website: www.nmcl.co.uk

Alternatively, for an informal discussion, contact the NMCL Programme Manager, Steve Collins at scollins@smmt.co.uk