Offshore Wind to Benefit from £1.5m Aerospace-inspired Business Transformation Programme

The Offshore Wind Growth Partnership and Sharing in Growth join forces to develop a new version of the successful aerospace programme for offshore wind.

The Offshore Wind Growth Partnership (OWGP) and the Sharing in Growth programme, both long-term business improvement programmes, the first established as part of the UK Offshore Wind Sector Deal and the other operating extremely effectively in the UK’s aerospace industry, are working together to develop a new £1.5m Sharing in Growth – Offshore Wind programme that aims to improve the competitiveness of the UK offshore wind supply chain.

The programme is part of the Offshore Wind Industry Council-funded OWGP programme and will support the offshore wind industry to meet the targets laid out in its Sector Deal to increase UK content in new wind farm developments and achieve a fivefold increase in exports to £2.6bn a year by 2030.

Sharing in Growth is an intensive business transformation initiative that was established in 2012 to transform the productivity of the UK aerospace sector in the face increasing global competition.  Since then it has supported over 60 companies and led to over £4bn worth of contracts won. Growth in terms of sales and net worth of companies supported by Sharing in Growth has substantially outpaced other companies in the sector.

Combining experience from aerospace and the offshore wind sectors, a pilot programme for offshore wind will launch in January 2020 working with between five and ten companies. Following a full review of the participants business needs, an agreed programme of support will be delivered, tailored to the needs of the companies with the specific aim of increasing their competitiveness and productivity within the offshore wind sector.

The programme requires strong commitment from a company’s management team.  It focusses on all aspects of the company that contribute to productivity, from leadership and culture through to operations and logistics. The programme will last for between one and three years depending on the needs of the company and can involve dedicated advisors, operations and manufacturing experts.

Andrew Macdonald, OWGP Programme Director, said: “The OWGP was established as part of the Offshore Wind Sector Deal to promote closer collaboration across the supply chain, implement structured productivity improvement programmes and facilitate shared growth opportunities between developers and their supply chain.

“This partnership with the Sharing in Growth Programme provides the ideal framework within which we can work with a cohort of companies to increase their competitiveness, supporting continued cost reduction in offshore wind whilst simultaneously securing long-term economic benefits.”

Martin Whitmarsh, chair of OWGP said: “As offshore wind grows and matures as a UK industrial success story, we want to ensure that we maximise the learning from other successful sectors and the business improvement programmes that they run, applying that knowledge to our offshore wind sector.

“The Sharing in Growth programme has been an undoubted success in transforming the UK’s aerospace sector and we’re confident that applying the same principles to offshore wind will produce similar industry successes.”

Sharing in Growth CEO Andy Page commented: “Offshore wind provides a great opportunity for UK energy supply and also for UK high value manufacturing. Sharing in Growth was set up as an innovative and pervasive programme specifically designed and delivered to address the needs of ambitious manufacturing companies. I am delighted that we can use our experience, from sectors such as aerospace, to apply to other areas of strategic importance and to support more companies in beating the productivity challenge.”

Sharing in Growth participant JJ Churchill manufactures high precision components for aerospace. Since joining the programme in 2013 the family-owned firm has secured more than £200 million in contracts, increased its headcount by 35% and its export forward order book from under £1 million to more than £37 million.

Executive Chairman Andrew Churchill added: “Sharing in Growth is an excellent example of the government and engineering working together to make our industry more effective, more efficient and future-proofed. This is increasing opportunity, sales and jobs. Working with Sharing in Growth, we have invested in our people, our efficiency and our technology so that we can delight customers by delivering quality products in full, on time and with world-beating competitiveness.”

Launched in June 2019, the OWGP is a key part of the Offshore Wind Sector Deal between industry and Government. Funded by the Offshore Wind Industry Council (OWIC) and delivered by the Offshore Renewable Energy Catapult, it has a budget of £100m over a ten-year period and will promote closer collaboration across the supply chain and facilitate shared growth opportunities between developers and the supply chain.

Over 260 companies have now registered an interest on the OWGP website.

The first two pilot calls received project proposals with total budget of almost £2m.  Assessment is currently underway to select the winning projects within the £400k funding budget and these will be announced in early December.

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