Nottinghamshire-based Interflex has been awarded a £254,000 grant as part of a programme offering £16 million funding from the Department for Business Energy and Industrial Strategy (BEIS).
Interflex manufactures noise, vibration and harshness (NVH) and sealing solutions for the automotive industry, including door seals, interior trim, under carpet and boot seals at its Langar site.
The grant monies should be used to help raise workforce capability and productivity in individual companies. This in turn helps to boost overall economic growth in the UK and increases export levels.
The award will fund 50% of a half a million pound project to bring in external sources with specific expertise to train, coach and mentor the Interflex team across a range of aspects of the business.
The training programme is part of the company’s expansion plans which will see Interflex enter new sectors such as rail, aerospace, bus and trucks. The company is also aiming to expand into overseas markets.
Managing Director Jim Griffin said: “This is an exciting time for Interflex. We have risen to some tough challenges over the last 12 months and have emerged a more flexible and efficient operation as a result.
“Covid did delay our planned expansion into new markets, but with systems working effectively and the valuable cash injection that the award has given us, now is the perfect time to start putting these exciting plans into practice.”
Training programmes will focus on areas such as building on the skillset and experience of management, as well as developing Interflex’s project management team and creating a new product introduction process.
The company is also planning to introduce Lean techniques to improve processes in manufacturing at the same time as enabling the team to manage an increasing supplier base and higher throughput of materials.
The award is part of the NMCL Automotive Programme which was developed by an ADS Group Limited and Society of Motor Manufacturers & Traders (SMMT) led consortium. The consortium has established a national best practice approach to improving the competitiveness of UK-based manufacturing companies such as Interflex.
Despite the challenges of Covid, Interflex had a successful year in 2020, partly due to setting up a subsidiary company to manufacture PPE, providing an alternative revenue stream when the automotive industry ground to a halt. As a result, the company was able to invest £140,000 in equipment and additional staff last year.
“This grant will help Interflex to be proactive as company, enabling the management team to pursue a policy of initiative and expansion that will take us forward into 2021 and beyond,” said Jim.