5 free resources for growing your manufacturing business


Running a small manufacturing business can be challenging when you have limited resources and a tight budget. Whether you're looking for guidance, funding opportunities, or technological assistance, these free resources have got you covered:

1. Government funding and support programs

The UK government offers various funding and support programs specifically designed to assist small manufacturers. These initiatives can provide you with the financial resources needed to invest in new equipment, training, or research and development. Additionally, they offer guidance and mentorship to help you navigate the complexities of running a manufacturing business.

Explore programs such as the Manufacturing Growth Programme, Innovate UK, and the British Business Bank to find the support that suits your needs.

2. Manufacturing Advisory Service

The Manufacturing Advisory Service (MAS) is a free service available to small manufacturers across the UK. By working with experienced manufacturing advisors, you can access invaluable insights and expertise to optimise your operations. MAS advisors can help you identify areas for improvement, enhance your supply chain, implement lean manufacturing practices, and much more.

Whether you're looking to boost efficiency, reduce waste, or improve quality control, the MAS is an excellent resource to tap into.

3. Local Enterprise Partnerships

Local Enterprise Partnerships (LEPs) are collaborative partnerships between local authorities and businesses, working together to promote economic growth and job creation. LEPs provide a wealth of resources and support services for small manufacturers in their regions. From access to networking events and business workshops to grants and funding opportunities, LEPs are committed to helping small manufacturers thrive.

4. Business Support Helpline 

When you need quick answers or guidance for your manufacturing business, the Business Support Helpline is there to assist you. This free and confidential helpline provides expert advice on various aspects of running a business, including finance, regulations, marketing, and more.

Whether you have questions about tax incentives, compliance requirements, or exporting goods, the helpline's friendly and knowledgeable advisors can point you in the right direction and help you find the information you need.

5. Digital Manufacturing Skills Toolkit

In today's digital age, embracing technology is crucial for manufacturers to remain competitive. The Digital Manufacturing Skills Toolkit is a free online resource designed to help small manufacturers in the UK enhance their digital capabilities.

The toolkit offers a range of training materials, webinars, and practical guides to help you understand and implement digital technologies in your manufacturing processes. From data analysis and automation to 3D printing and IoT integration, this toolkit is an invaluable resource for staying ahead in the digital manufacturing landscape.

BONUS: Fortee - an affordable ERP solution

While the resources mentioned above are free, it's worth considering an affordable solution like Fortee, an ERP system built specifically for small manufacturers. Although not free, Fortee offers an affordable first step for businesses looking to take their operations to the next level. 


As a small manufacturer in the UK, you don't have to face all your challenges alone. Take advantage of these free resources to gain valuable support, guidance, and access to funding opportunities.

From government initiatives and local partnerships to expert advice and digital skills training, these free resources are here to help your business thrive. Remember, success in manufacturing is a team effort, and with the right resources at your disposal, you're one step closer to achieving your goals.