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MANUFACTURERS in Northumberland have been urged to enter a national awards programme to claim £20,000 of free consultancy services.

Berwick MP Sir Alan Beith said businesses should sign up for the Manufacturing Excellence awards, run by the Institution of Mechanical Engineers to celebrate outstanding companies and offer expert advice.

He said: “I hope businesses across Northumberland will apply and take advantage of the programme.

“Entry is free and there is up to £20,000 free consultancy advice up for grabs, as well as the chance to win at the prestigious Manufacturing Excellence awards in November.

“Manufacturing is the economic backbone to the UK and by entering companies can ensure Northumberland is at the heart of the country’s manufacturing resurgence.”

The scheme works with businesses of all shapes and sizes to help improve their processes and showcase their successes and innovations.

Awards include Best Manufacturer and cover business development, customer focus, financial management, innovation, logistics, partnership with education and improvement.

Applications should be submitted by June. For more information visit www.mxawards.org