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Martin Coats

Operations and Commercial Director

Working closely with our partners, he creates powerful propositions, builds high-performing delivery teams, oversees client acquisition, drives continuous improvement and ensures measurable success for funders and SMEs. 

A former SME owner himself, Martin moved into business support in 2005, working across an array of funding mechanisms and delivering start-up and university-linked innovation programmes. 

Specifically, Martin has delivered flagship support programmes in the manufacturing sector, launching and delivering numerous high-profile contracts, including those for the £60m Growth Accelerator and £250m National Manufacturing Advisory Service.

He later set up Economic Growth Solutions, which became the UK’s largest and leading business support programme for manufacturing SMEs, securing £80m in match funding and supporting 5,000 companies. 

Since joining Exemplas in 2022, Martin has leveraged his experience, connections and reputation for operational rigour to help us secure the Business Productivity Service contract with Leeds Beckett University, which will support hundreds of SMEs in West Yorkshire.