Government pledges �3.5m to Dagenham’s new manufacturing institute

A new manufacturing institute on the Dagenham borders will be a “hotbed of opportunity for growth”, after the government awarded it a �3.5million grant.

Communities Secretary Eric Pickles visited the CEME Centre in Marsh Way yesterday to announce the investment.

The new, not-for-profit High Speed Sustainable Manufacturing Institute (HSSMI) is being set up in partnership with the CEME Centre and car manufacturer Ford. The car company is investing �1.44m in the scheme.

The institute will develop new and innovative ways to improve manufacturing techniques and increase productivity.

It will bring together experts from business, engineering and academia and will employ 22 researchers and PhD students to work alongside six Ford research staff to create programmes that will help develop the high skilled work force needed to operate such systems.

Mr Pickles said: “HSSMI is a great beacon of hope for both the British and the local economy.

“By investing in high-tech skills and innovation we can help ensure that as well as being part of our past, quality manufacturing is part of our future.”

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During his visit, Mr Pickles was joined by local government minister Bob Neill, Ford chairman Joe Greenwell, as well as CEME chief executive Bill Williams and chairman Martin Broadhurst, and Havering Council leader, Cllr Michael White.

Mr Williams said: “Under the umbrella of CEME, the HSSMI will bring together the best of business academia, the latest engineering know-how, and business acumen to focus on designing innovative manufacturing systems to give a vital lead to British companies, both large and small.

“The potential is phenomenal. This is going to be a hotbed of opportunity for growth.

“It is a momentous day because it will bring technology into small businesses in this region and nationally they could previously only have dreamed of.”

Mr Pickeles added: “By promoting enterprise, pushing forward research, creating jobs and giving people more skills we are sending a powerful signal that Britain is a top choice for inward investment and with that bringing local growth back to communities.

“This is an Institute with a big ambition, to push back the frontiers of manufacturing, quicken production and reduce costs and bring benefits to business as well as the local area.”