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Northern Powerhouse European Union

Made Smarter gets three-year extension

The popular Made Smarter programme, which supports SME manufacturers on their journey to digitalisation, has secured £6.1 million to support hundreds more North West businesses.


Made Smarter has supported 2,500 North West manufacturers to date, upskilling almost 2,300 existing roles and creating 1,250 new jobs in the process.

Businesses receive specialist advice and a digital roadmap to help them select the right approach, level of investment and tools for embarking on their digitalisation journey – including skills and leadership development and technology recommendations.

More than 250 North West manufacturers have also received matched funding to invest in new digital technology, from software and sensors to robotics and extended reality, to become more efficient, build resilience, increase productivity and grow sustainably.

Given the huge success of the scheme, the government has now provided a further £6.1 million to accelerate the programme further across the North West.

Alain Dilworth, Programme Manager for the North West Made Smarter Adoption Programme, 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.

“This new funding means we can renew our ambition to reach out to the region’s SME manufacturers to connect them to the tools that will make an everyday difference to their businesses, build resilience and enable them to keep up with a fast-moving industry.”

GC Business Growth Hub’s Manufacturing Service works in partnership with Made Smarter to ensure businesses are properly primed for Industry 4.0 by embedding manufacturing excellence throughout their business.

For more information on how our one-to-one support and cohort training programmes can help prepare your business for digitalisation, contact our Manufacturing Team today.

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