Sector Support

Retail Business Benchmark

  • Free online tool offering a powerful business self-assessment, designed especially for smaller, independent retailers.
  • Provides a report offering clear information and advice in key areas such as finance, buying, sales and service, merchandising and marketing.
  • Allows retailers to benchmark themselves against a best practice model on a geographical or sector basis.

Sector Skills Councils (SSCs)

  • SSCs are the employer-led skills organisations covering over 90% of the UK’s workforce and representing the skills and training interests of small to large businesses.
  • The Alliance of Sector Skills Councils represents, promotes and supports the SSCs across the UK, and contains a directory of all SSCs.

The Manufacturing Institute

  • Independent charity with a primary focus to support and improve the manufacturing sector through training, education and consultancy.
  • Practitioners have all worked in manufacturing at senior levels and their years of experience could improve your business.

Contact: T: 0161 875 2525 E:


  • Free support for North West based manufacturing SMEs to identify ways of using technology to improve process efficiency
  • Funded by the European Regional Development Fund (ERDF) and delivered by the University of Central Lancashire (UCLAN)
  • 30 hours of free intensive consultancy into technology, data and manufacturing problem solving

Contact: T: 01772 896092 E:

Textiles Growth

  • The Textiles Growth Programme is aimed at textiles sector businesses of all sizes
  • Includes the spectrum of manufacturers from carpets to apparel as well as suppliers to the industry such as textile machinery manufacturers and designers

Contact: T: 0161 359 3050 E:

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