Smaller manufacturers can see increased prospects for growth

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More than half of the small and medium sized manufacturers in Yorkshire and Humber are predicting an increase in sales during the next six months.

According to the latest Manufacturing Advisory Service Barometer, two out of five firms expect to increase investment on plant and machinery and more than a third plan to spend on new technology.

SMEs in Yorkshire and Humber believe growth will be fuelled by the marine, nuclear and offshore wind sectors.

MAS area director Martin Coats said: “It’s reassuring to see more of our SMEs are expecting to increase their sales, despite a slight fall over the last six months.

“Manufacturers have been reporting fluctuating demand and softening in certain sectors, so to see the renewed optimism suggests many believe these markets are coming back on stream.”

Companies targeting growth who are featured in the MAS survey include Geco Industries, the Sheffield-based developer of a bio-ethanol-based fuel gel called Fuel 4.

Geco’s successes include signing a supply deal with leading outdoor clothing and leisure equipment retailer GO Outdoors.

“We’re only into our second year, but are already set to turnover £600,000, 50 per cent of which is exported direct to South Africa,” said Lewis Bowen, who started Geco after completing a business degree at Sheffield Hallam University.

“We’ve invested about £70,000 into the tooling, and everything is manufactured and assembled within 30 miles of our factory.

“I’d expect us to break the £1 million barrier in the next year and take on more staff to boost the existing eight-strong team.”

MAS is funded by the Department for Business, Innovation and Skills and helps manufacturers to shape strategy, create products and work more efficiently.