Big players lead the way for SME audience

AMRC machine tool
AMRC machine tool
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Jaguar Land Rover, HS2, Airbus and other prime contractors will speak to hundreds of SMEs at the UK’s biggest ‘meet-the-buyer’ festival for companies involved in special materials, metal forming and engineering.

Part of the International Festival of Business 2014 and now in its fifth year, the Global Manufacturing Festival 2014 will host senior executives from prime companies in the aerospace, automotive, renewable energy and oil & gas sectors at the Advanced Manufacturing Research Centre with Boeing on June 25.

Mike Wright from Jaguar Land Rover, Colin Sirret from Airbus, a board director from rail consortium HS2 and a managing director from GE Oil & Gas UK will explain to visitors their companies’ UK operations and how to access their supplier lists.

Headed by a senior government minister in the Department for Business, Innovation and Skills, the conference is backed with a 150-stand exhibition to provide ample networking opportunities. The show’s organisers are expecting more than 1,200 visitors this year – 1,000 registered in 2013.

Executive director of Jaguar Land Rover Mike Wright will present findings of the Wright Review, a study on the capability of British companies to supply big companies based in the UK, like JLR and Nissan, with components. It will cover what the UK automotive industry needs from suppliers now and in the future, focusing on low carbon engineering.

Colin Sirett, head of research and technology at Airbus UK, said: “At the Festival we will explain how future demand is directing Airbus product development and what mechanisms are available to support the whole industry.”

HS2 will field either incoming chief executive Simon Kirby or a board director to explain HS2’s specific supplier needs, and how firms can access the company. Heads of corporate procurement at HS2 Beth West and Richard Mould will be available at the exhibition to answer questions directly.

The Festival is one of several key supply chain events that HS2 will attend in 2014 as it communicates the commercial opportunities of the £42bn rail contract throughout the regions.

Bruce Heppenstall, site leader for Wellstream Flexibles at GE Oil & Gas, will also be a guest speaker at the event.

The Global Manufacturing Festival is the biggest supply chain event for companies involved in special materials, metal forming and precision engineering in the UK.

Free to attend and now in its fifth year, it has a strong record of connecting SMEs with global OEMs based in the UK. Visit for more information.

Visit for details on the International Festival of Business 2014.