Rail Forum Midland’s first event of 2020 focussed on the Barriers to Growth faced by our SMEs. Held at NTAR in Northampton on 9th January the event saw over two dozen MD’s and strategy directors taking part to share their views and ideas. Put together by RFM’s Business Growth Delivery Group, which is chaired by Nicola Phillips of Siemens, the workshop explored four different themes:

– diversification led by Richard Holland, TRB Lightweight Structures

– innovation led by Chandra Morbey, Porterbrook

– market expansion  / export led by David Kierton, Freestone Wright and

– internal capabilities led by Dr Cham Kang, Qinesis.

Following short presentations from each ‘theme leader’ the workshop then involved small groups working on each theme to look at the barriers they face. Groups then changed around and considered potential solutions with a final group session prioritising these. Participants identified solutions that they can take forward in their own businesses together with areas that they felt more help was needed; which is where RFM’s Business Growth Delivery Group comes in.

“Our Business Growth Delivery Group is keen to take specific actions that will support our members and SMEs,” said Elaine Clark, CEO of RFM. “This workshop was the first step in ensuring we are listening to our members and picking up on the issues that they feel will help them. We are now analysing the output and will be putting in place a 12-18 month action plan to follow up on as many of these as we can”.

RFM would like to thank Chandra, Cham, David and Richard for giving up their valuable time to make the workshop such a success. Thanks also to the event sponsors



RFMs has four Delivery Groups reporting through to the RFM Board each one Chaired by a Board Director and supported by 2-3 more directors plus other volunteer members. To find out more about the work of the groups or to get involved please contact cat@midlandsrail.co.uk 


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