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Thursday, July 25, 2024

Lancashire manufacturing boost as Made Smarter programme achieves government backing to continue

A pilot which has helped hundreds of Lancashire manufacturers access technology and digital tools to boost productivity, growth and create jobs, is to continue as part of a £8M government rollout.

The successful initiative becomes part of the government’s Made Smarter Adoption programme, which now expands into the North East, Yorkshire and the Humber, and the West Midlands regions.

It means hundreds of more manufacturers in Lancashire will be able to learn how digital transformation can help them recover, grow, and create resilience.

Donna Edwards, Made Smarter’s North West Adoption Director, said: “I am delighted that the Government has continued to support the North West Adoption programme.

“Over the last two years we have worked tirelessly to drive digital technology usage among SME makers across the North West with significant success.

“The programme has proven the value technology can bring to the manufacturing sector. We have helped hundreds of North West makers start their digital journey by providing them with specialist advice to help them select the right approach, level of investment and tools for their business.

“With the additional funding, we are able to continue reaching out to the region’s SME manufacturers to connect them to the tools that will make an everyday difference to their businesses.”

Since it was launched two years ago, the North West technology adoption pilot has engaged with more than 300 businesses in Lancashire to help them introduce digital tools and technologies to boost productivity and growth, and navigate the impact of Covid-19.

More than 150 manufacturers have received intensive support including expert, impartial technology advice, digital transformation workshops to help manufacturers take their first steps to transform their business, a leadership programme, and funded digital technology internships.

Businesses have secured £1.1M matched funding for 57 projects, leveraging £3.9M after private sector investment.

These technology adoption projects are forecast to deliver an additional £56M in gross value added (GVA) for the Lancashire economy over the next three years, create 355 new jobs, and upskill 795 existing roles.

The success of the North West Adoption programme will be celebrated at a free-to-access virtual conference, Made Smarter: The journey to digital manufacturing, on Wednesday, March 10.

Curated by manufacturers for manufacturers, the conference features an impressive line-up of industry heavyweights who will showcase the ‘why?’, ‘what?’ and ‘how?’ of digital manufacturing, including: Juergen Maier, Chair of the Digital Catapult and co-Chair of the Made Smarter Commission; Stephen Phipson, the Chief Executive of Make UK, the manufacturers’ organisation; Andrea Hough, Managing Director of ATEC Engineering Solutions; and Glyn Jones, Service Delivery Director at BAE Systems and Chair of the Made Smarter Pilot Steering Group.

They will be joined by a host of SME manufacturers sharing real-life stories of their experience of the North West Adoption programme including plant-based and vegan nutrition products maker Nutree Life, based in Burscough, DA Techs (Chorley), Envirosystems (Preston), and Bloom-in-Box (Burscough).

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