Members of the Leeds City Region Enterprise Partnership (LEP) Board met remotely to discuss how the LEP can continue to support regional businesses, including those businesses supplying vital equipment to the NHS.
The meeting was held on digital platform Zoom, rather than in person, allowing members to undertake an important review of the issues affecting the region’s businesses and economy to continue during the Covid-19 outbreak.
LEP Board members welcomed the news that Leeds-based mattress manufacturer Herida Healthcare has successfully applied for LEP support to increase production. The cash flow boost has enabled the company to quickly ramp up manufacturing and operations and urgently supply 12,000 mattresses to the new NHS super hospitals currently being set up across the country.
This new order builds on the 2,000 mattresses the company has already supplied to the NHS Nightingale super hospital in London. The money loaned will be repaid to the LEP within 12 weeks.
Roger Marsh OBE, chair of the LEP and NP11 said: “It’s a real testament to the manufacturing capability in our region that businesses are responding swiftly to the urgent needs of the NHS. I’d like to thank all those working so hard to support the NHS through this difficult time.
“I’d like to appeal to other businesses to come forward as the Government is urgently seeking suppliers of protective masks, gowns, hand sanitiser, medical testing equipment and more. Please check the LEP website for details and the support available to you through the University of Huddersfield Supply Chain Programme.”
During the meeting, it was also revealed that Bradford-based manufacturer Produmax is also contributing to the national effort to meet NHS supply chain needs.
LEP Board member, Mandy Ridyard, financial director of Produmax, said: “Produmax is also supporting the NHS supply chain. This week we started manufacturing components for ventilators and are working tirelessly to deliver them to the NHS so we can help save lives.”
A discussion followed as to how to the LEP is best able to support businesses experiencing cash flow issues as a result of the crisis.
The LEP has set up a dedicated webpage listing the latest government coronavirus support, and will shortly launch a programme of webinars for businesses to help secure finance, as well as a new mentoring scheme offering businesses two hours free business support from an expert who has volunteered their time.
For information and support, businesses in Leeds City Region concerned or affected by the impact of Coronavirus (COVID-19) can contact the LEP business support team by:
- Visiting the dedicated information page at https://www.the-lep.com/covid19
- Calling the LEP business support helpline on 0113 348 1818
- Emailing BusinessSupport@the-lep.com