Havant-based aerospace giant Lockheed Martin launches initiative to help small businesses
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The firm, which employs around 500 people at its base at the Langstone Technology Park in Havant, has launched SMEUnite with the aim of helping small companies win business in the aerospace, defence and space sectors Last week it held a conference at the Army’s Larkhill Camp close to Stonehenge in Wiltshire in which 50 small and medium companies from around the UK heard more about the venture.
“SMEUnite is the first initiative of its kind in the UK defence sector,” said Helen Meston, Head of Supply Chain at Lockheed Martin UK. “It works to help uncover opportunities for UK-based SMEs to collaborate on current and future defence work with a focus on innovative and affordable solutions for the Armed Forces through a strong, diverse and agile supply chain.”
If you’re a small business wanting to bring your capabilities to the defence sector you can find out more information on SMEUnite here.
Among those finding out more at the conference was John Bowden, Managing Director of Atec Engineering Solutions in Greater Manchester. Despite being in business for more than 75 years, John said that as a small company, securing business in the defence sector can be a real challenge. He added: “Having something like SMEUnite simplifies that process. You’ve got somebody there as a contact in a position that means that they can signpost you to the right people, and I think that’s got to simplify anybody’s engagement. So inherently we’re very interested in the success of it.”
Chris Woodhams, Managing Director of Solihull-based Argenta Limited, said: “I think one of the big benefits is building our network, and these events enable that really well. Being able to chat with Lockheed Martin or the other suppliers ultimately breeds business whether it’s directly with Lockheed Martin or with one of the supply chain.”
Last month Lockheed Martin outlined its team of UK partners and the benefits of the Ministry of Defence choosing the Sikorsky Black Hawk helicopter to replace the UK’s aging mixed medium helicopter fleet. Among its UK partners is Standard Aero, which has a base in Gosport.