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Westfield gets funding for marketing initiative

West Midlands sports car manufacturer Westfield is benefiting from a supply chain initiative to help launch its latest model and boost public awareness of the brand.

Accelerate, managed by the Birmingham Chamber of Commerce and funded by Advantage West Midlands and European Regional Development Fund, channelled £10,000 into the Westfield Sportscars Experience, a one-day marketing event at Bruntingthorpe proving ground in Lutterworth.

The event attracted more than 300 people.

Westfield marketing manager Holly Bond says: “We are looking at a variety of ways of building the brand and reaching out to new customers. Since our launch in 1983, we have factory made or supplied kits for over 8,500 Westfields worldwide in countries ranging from Bahrain in the Middle East to South Africa and Sweden.

“The Experience is just a taste of things to come and we have already scheduled a similar event for July 2007.”

Accelerate supports the West Midlands supply chain by offering financial assistance towards business development, collaborative supplier networks, workforce development, technology transfer centres and supply chain network programmes.

Westfield uses 695 suppliers, who produce components for the range of vehicles – half of which are sourced from the Midlands.

“At the moment, we produce around 500 cars per year and the long-term aim is to increase this without losing the prestige of the marque,” says Bond.

“Our staff and the supply chain will be crucial in helping us achieve this.”

Rachel Eade, programme manager for Accelerate, is delighted with the approach.

“Our recent £13m funding boost means there is additional money that can be directed to business development and capital equipment grants, supply chain improvement networks and events, such as the Westfield Experience,” she says.

“The support is there; it’s now a question of firms making sure they access it.”

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