It’s a bright start for BASME project

editorial image

MORE than 170 new jobs have been created thanks to a project which helps smaller companies from areas including Hartlepool.

Officials at the Business Acceleration for SMEs (BASME) programme say there’s still plenty more to come as the scheme has not yet reached the halfway stage.

The three year programme was launched last year to eventually help 400 SMEs (small and medium sized enterprises) develop their sales to the process industry.

Experts use a novel three-pronged approach of mentoring, events and workshops.

The whole project is being delivered by the North East Process Industry Cluster (NEPIC).

Programme manager Felix O’Hare said: “We are delighted by the arrival of our 200th company. It reflects the demand and value this programme has to offer SMEs”.

NEPIC chief executive Stan Higgins said “The combined efforts of the team, our industry-mentors and the participating SMEs have led to the creation of 170 jobs in eighteen months – if this were a new investor to the region it would be front page news.”

At the recent NEPIC Meet The Members event, 174 BASME meetings were held between 42 companies with the likes of SABIC, Huntsman, Conoco Philips, ABB, Sembcorp and Lotte offering their time and expertise to mentor SMEs.

Dave Ruddy, managing director of Billingham water treatment firm Biochemica explained why they joined the programme.

He said: “The BASME programme provides the perfect platform for the region’s SMEs to not only connect with, but learn from some of the largest and most influential companies in the process industry.”

For more details, contact Felix O’Hare on (01642) 442560, email, or visit