The Business Festival - running from 13 to 24 May, will see a total of 113 different business events over the fortnight. More than a dozen of these are outstanding manufacturing events comprising everything from tours of the region’s leading manufacturers; unique demonstrations of advanced technology to new product development and I.P. (Intellectual Property) support.

The Black Country proudly boasts a huge, world-class manufacturing and engineering base that employs 67,000 people across nearly 4,000 businesses ranging from metals and machinery manufacturing to chemicals, tooling, food and drink and furniture and equipment.

High profile employers in the region include the likes of ZF Lemforder UK, Assa Abloy (the world’s largest lock manufacturer by sales volume); Hadley Industries; Sandvik Limited and B E Wedge. Chamberlin is listed on the London Stock Exchange and the well-known 2 Sisters Food Group with brands like Fox’s biscuits and Goodfellas in its portfolio, is based in Wolverhampton.

A  number of manufacturing-themed skills events are also on offer in the Festival, showing that vital moves are already in place to provide a future workforce with specialised industry skills to support Black Country businesses in a changing, advancing technological landscape.

Johnathan Dudley, regional managing partner and head of manufacturing business at Crowe is one of the Business Festival sector leads for Advanced Manufacturing. He said, “As a region we have a lot to shout about particularly in this sector.  As well as being home to a large proportion of SMEs1, there are some 600 ‘high turnover’ [£5 million+] companies, many of which make products or component parts that are shipped right across the globe.

“The Festival brings everyone together, and gives us a great opportunity to collaborate, share ideas and showcase what the Black Country has to offer to the rest of the UK and the world.”

The Business Festival presents some fantastic opportunities for a closer look behind-the-scenes at some of the region’s finest manufacturers.