Businesses are being offered advice and support to put in place plans to help them ensure their long- term growth and success.

County Durham Engineering and Manufacturing Network (CDEMN) has teamed up with a number of its affiliate members and partners to deliver an initial six-week succession planning programme of workshops.

The programme, which involves Maven Capital Partners and Tait Walker, is designed to help engineering and manufacturing companies look at their aims for the future and if they have the right personnel in place to help them realise their ambitions.

It’s also been created to help them think about what they’d do if their owner or a senior member of the management team passed away unexpectedly; and how they maximise the resources and finance at their disposal.

Ben Gilhespy, Operations Director at CDEMN, said: “We know many companies within the engineering and manufacturing sectors aren’t thinking enough about the future and their personnel.

“Have they got the right people in place who can support their growth? Are they investing in young talent to ensure that as their experienced staff members retire, they have people with the right skills coming through? Are they able to continue as they are if their owner or managing director passes away?

“These are all things we’re helping participants on our workshop think about more clearly, as they may not realise how crucial succession planning is to their long-term growth, even their survival.”

To support the programme, CDEMN affiliate member Tait Walker, the largest independent accountancy firm in the North East, is offering advice to businesses to help them better plan for the future.

Michael Smith said: “We know that many businesses are so consumed by the day to day role that they’re not able to look at the big picture and plan for their long-term future. As a result many owners end up approaching their planned retirement age with no succession and no obvious exit from the business.

“The purpose of these sessions is to help business owners understand how to value their business, the factors that increase value and the variety of possible exit routes. By planning to build these factors into your strategy the owner can maximise value and exit at the right time.”

CDEMN member CAV Aerospace has also been involved, with owner Owen McFarlane sharing his own experiences on succession planning and answering questions from the group.

There are plans to host more workshops across the North East over the coming months.

To find out more about the succession planning workshops and the help available, contact Ben Gilhespy on email