A new business support programme for start-ups and small and medium-sized (SMEs) manufacturing companies which aims to help the environment has been launched in Cambridge.

The £2.25m programme aims to create more than 140 new jobs as well as helping firms take a sustainable approach to all aspects of their business.

The ‘Practical and Innovative Solutions for Manufacturing Sustainability’ (PrISMS) programme launched by Cambridge University’s IfM Education and Consultancy Services (ECS) received funding from the European Regional Development Fund to set up the programme, which will run until 30 June 2015.

It has been suggested that it will provide fully funded support for 50 start-ups and 70 SMEs throughout the east of England to help them increase their profits, reduce their costs and minimise their environmental impacts.

Dr Derek Ford, who heads the IfM ECS’s team supporting SMEs and start-up companies, said:

“We have worked with hundreds of small and medium-sized manufacturers over the last ten years, developing practical ways to help them improve their businesses and develop the capabilities they need to grow and achieve their goals. We are delighted to have been awarded funding from ERDF and are looking forward to working on the new project”.

Eleven local authorities will be helping to recruit start-ups and SMEs, and buisnesses need to be located in one of the six counties in the East of England to qualify for PrISMS.