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Made Smarter boosted by £6.1m Government funding to accelerate manufacturers’ digitalisation

Tom Bottomley
27 September 2022

The trailblazing Made Smarter programme that has backed small and medium-sized (SME) manufacturers to adopt new digital technology and skills to create growth and jobs, has secured a further £6.1m in Government funding.

Made Smarter has already helped 2,500 businesses use tech and skill to grow gross value added (GVA) by £176 million and create 1,250 jobs, and the new funding – over three years – will give it the opportunity to drive its support for hundreds more.

Made Smarter’s adoption programme in the North West has helped small and medium-sized companies “start their digital journey” by providing them with specialist advice and a digital roadmap to help them select the right approach, level of investment and tools for their business.

More than 250 of them, including many in the textile sector, have invested in new technology ranging from software and sensors to robotics and extended reality, to become more efficient, build resilience, increase their productivity and grow sustainably.

Those to benefit so far include nightwear and loungewear brand and manufacturer, Derek Rose, textile manufacturer Lantex and leading supplier of high quality decorative fabrics and wallcoverings, Panaz.

As a result of the work in the North West, the national roll out of the Made Smarter adoption programme has continued, and now includes the West of England and East Midlands. They join the North East, Yorkshire and the Humber, and the West Midlands regions.

Alain Dilworth, Programme Manager for the Made Smarter Adoption Programme in the North West, said: “I am delighted that the Government has recognised the extraordinary impact that Made Smarter’s adoption programme is having on digitalisation of SME businesses and the adoption of Industry 4.0 technologies in the North West, whilst continuing to fund our work for the next three years.

“While UK manufacturing navigated the pandemic and is working towards recovery, it is also bracing for further challenging times and economic bumps in the road ahead. Our rallying call to manufacturers is that digital technologies offer businesses opportunities to build resilience, innovate and transform.

“Digital tools can help manufacturers make marginal savings, set themselves apart from competitors in a volatile time, and make products quicker, affordable and more efficiently.”

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