Advanced manufacturing

Production back to near full capacity at Bath engineering firm as it reopens from Covid-19 shutdown

May 22, 2020
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Production back to near full capacity at Bath engineering firm as it reopens from Covid-19 shutdown

A Bath-based precision engineering business has bounced back to 90% production after reopening from the coronavirus lockdown. RPI UK, which supplies parts to major manufacturers such as aero-engine giant Rolls-Royce, continued to win new work during the lockdown and now boasts a full order book until September.  The firm, based on Brassmill Lane, aims...

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Coronavirus business loan keeps successful Land Rover Defender restorer on the road

May 21, 2020
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Coronavirus business loan keeps successful Land Rover Defender restorer on the road

A firm that restores, repairs and customises Land Rover Defenders – exporting many of them to the US – has secured a seven-figure finance facility from HSBC to safeguard its future. The funding is enabling Arkonik to continue to take orders despite the coronavirus pandemic. It also means founder and CEO Andy Hayes has...

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£1.45m finance deal for medical firm to boost production of Covid-19 test swabs

May 19, 2020
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£1.45m finance deal for medical firm to boost production of Covid-19 test swabs

A medical products manufacturer behind a world-beating specialist swab has secured a £1.45m finance package from Barclays to help the NHS’s Covid-19 testing. Medical Wire & Equipment (MWE), based in Corsham, is expecting to recruit 30 more staff – taking its total workforce to 120 – as it increases production of its virus transport...

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Expert advice – and chance to network virtually – in Business West’s latest recovery initiative

May 18, 2020
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Expert advice – and chance to network virtually – in Business West’s latest recovery initiative

Business West, the region’s largest business organisation, is launching a series of expert webinars and virtual networking events to help small firms bounce back from the impact of the coronavirus crisis. The webinars will address key practical issues and challenges facing firms as lockdown measures are eased while the online networking sessions will enable...

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‘Strong fundamentals’ of industrial market will help it bounce back from Covid-19 crisis, says report

May 15, 2020
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‘Strong fundamentals’ of industrial market will help it bounce back from Covid-19 crisis, says report

Take-up in the West of England’s industrial property market will be hit by the Covid-19 pandemic but should bounce back quickly, according to a forecast by one of the region’s top property agencies. Colliers International says the fundamentals of the market remain strong – and even now deals are being done.  Take-up in Bristol...

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Bath Business Blog: Matt Griffith, director of policy, Business West. The furlough scheme is hugely successful – but how will it end?

May 14, 2020
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Bath Business Blog: Matt Griffith, director of policy, Business West. The furlough scheme is hugely successful – but how will it end?

One of the government’s boldest and most effective interventions during the coronavirus has been the Coronavirus Job Retention Scheme (or furlough scheme). It is also, undoubtedly, one of the most important for businesses. Many businesses have suffered a massive shock to income, and furloughing has offered an ability to keep outgoings to a minimum,...

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Coronavirus update: Furlough scheme extension welcomed by business groups

May 12, 2020
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Coronavirus update: Furlough scheme extension welcomed by business groups

Chancellor Rishi Sunak’s decision to extend the government’s Coronavirus Job Retention Scheme to October will be a “huge relief” to firms in the West of England, according to the region’s largest business group. Business West, which runs Bath Chamber of Commerce, said its research showed the scheme, launched by Mr Sunak, pictured, in March,...

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£15 print-your-own laboratory-grade microscope developed by University of Bath team

May 7, 2020
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£15 print-your-own laboratory-grade microscope developed by University of Bath team

University of Bath academics have designed a 3D-printed precision microscope that will enable laboratories across the world to analyse samples and detect diseases for a fraction of the cost of traditional commercial versions.   The OpenFlexure Microscope, pictured, is a fully automated, laboratory-grade instrument with motorised sample positioning and focus control – and can...

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Business West says post-Brexit US trade links must help firms overcome impact of Covid-19

May 5, 2020
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Business West says post-Brexit US trade links must help firms overcome impact of Covid-19

Strong trade links with the US could help the West of England’s small firms recover from the impact of coronavirus, the region’s leading business group has suggested. Business West, which runs Bath Chamber of Commerce, welcomed the start of formal post-Brexit talks between the UK and US on a future free trade agreement and...

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Coronavirus update: Two more surveys reveal looming job cuts and massive falls in confidence

May 3, 2020
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Coronavirus update: Two more surveys reveal looming job cuts and massive falls in confidence

The devastating impact of the coronavirus pandemic on businesses in the West of England has been highlighted again in the results of two more surveys – with one showing two-thirds of firms suffered a fall in orders while the second reveals productivity is down at 80% of the region’s small manufacturers. Unsurprisingly, confidence levels...

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