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Consultancy plus cash to help Welsh companies cut costs, new package to help reduce manufacturers’ materials bills and tackle resource insecurity

Manufacturers in Wales are to benefit from a new package of support from WRAP Cymru, designed to help them reduce their material costs and avoid the risks associated with resource insecurity.

Small and medium manufacturing companies (SMEs) will receive up to £10,000 consultancy support to help them identify whether they could benefit from using recycled content in their products or packaging.

SMEs in Wales’ Convergence Region (North West Wales, West Wales and the South Wales Valleys) can also apply for grants of up to £50,000 towards the cost of new equipment.

A 2012 study by manufacturers’ organisation EEF found that more than 80 per cent of manufacturing CEOs believed that raw material shortage posed a risk to their business1. Using recycled content in place of virgin materials is one way of mitigating the risk, as well as reducing material costs.

Participating businesses will receive tailored consultancy support, which could include feasibility studies, product redesign, implementation planning or help with sourcing new materials. They can also learn more about how to apply for capital grants.

The consultancy support is open to businesses which are interested in using recycled content, those interested in using a higher proportion of recycled content, and those using recycled content which are looking to increase production.

WRAP Cymru Business and Markets Manager Susan Jay said:
"Using recycled content rather than virgin materials can significantly cut a manufacturer’s costs. If you’ve ever wondered whether your business would benefit, now is your time to find out.

"We’re looking for at least ten businesses to receive consultancy support before the end of March, with more in the new financial year. It’s a great opportunity for you to find out how much you could save and get 2013 off to a great start."

Environment and Sustainable Development Minister, John Griffiths, added:
"This funding is an important part of our efforts to work with businesses towards achieving a zero waste society in Wales.

"More and more private sector companies are recognising that there are real benefits to operating in a more sustainable way. By using recycled materials, businesses can make substantial cost savings, as well as benefitting the environment.

"It is important that recycled material is seen as a valuable resource which can ensure continuity in the supply of raw materials and greatly benefit businesses in Wales."

The consultancy support is backed by £320,000 Welsh Government funding, and follows the success of a similar scheme funded by the European Commission, which ended in November 2012. The project will run to October 2014 and aims to replace over 20,000 tonnes of virgin materials with recycled material, preventing the generation of 35,000 tonnes of CO2. The capital grants are part of WRAP Cymru’s ARID programme, which is funded by the European Regional Development Fund via the Welsh Government.

To apply or for more information about WRAP Cymru’s support for SMEs visit www.wrapcymru.org.uk or call 029 2044 8090.

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