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Help for furniture companies to expand.

FURNITURE manufacturers in the region are being encouraged to focus on their expansion plans with help from the North East LEP's Manufacturing Growth Programme (MGP).

South Shields-based fitted furniture business Roundel Manufacturing and rustic solid wood specialists Funky Chunky Furniture have both used the support of MGP advisers to advance their business plans and aim for further growth.

Specialist MGP consultants helped Roundel to identify skills gaps in their current management structure, in turn supporting a more united team with a clear direction for the future.

The company's manufacturing sales and commercial director Jim Bebbington said: "The more personal support from MGP advisers made us take the time out of our business to consider the future, then create a plan to deal with it. Their advice was so worthwhile. We now expect to continue our growth (17% projected for the next year) with development into new product sales."

Meanwhile, Funky Chunky Furniture was given help to streamline their processes and gain more control over their operations. Managing director Kevin Johnston said: "We have now identified a suitable system and we are in the process of setting it up. It will significantly improve operations and help us grow quicker than anticipated."

"Our manufacturing efficiency will increase, we are investing in new machinery and are employing two new members of staff. We'll have the opportunity to expand our furniture range and will also be exploring new markets domestically and internationally in the next six months. It's very exciting times."

The programme's senior project manager Simon Allen said "It's fantastic to see the development of our region's manufacturing businesses thanks to this specialist pilot programme, and I'm looking forward to seeing how both Roundel and Funky Chunky grow in the coming months."

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Title Annotation:Business
Publication:The Journal (Newcastle, England)
Date:Jul 13, 2017
Words:304
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