Food manufacturers have secured support from a programme helping businesses boost productivity and growth using digital tools.
The latest businesses to sign up for support from the Made Smarter Adoption programme in the North West include:
- Fylde Fresh and Fabulous, a potato producer in Weeton;
- Classic Desserts, a cake and pudding maker in Penrith; and
- Ye Olde Friars, a chocolate manufacturer in Keswick.
Meanwhile, Len Wright Salads, a salad producer in Tarleton and Nutree Life, a natural protein bar maker in Burscough, who have already experienced the benefits of the government funded and industry-led programme, are now taking the next step on their digitalisation journeys with second projects.
Since 2019 Made Smarter has supported 161 businesses with £3.9 million matched funding for 201 projects, leveraging £10.5 million of private sector investment.
Some manufacturers are developing projects using emerging technologies which enable them to integrate systems, capture and analyse data, and even create simulations of their plants and processes. Others are using 3D-printing, automation, and robotics to solve business challenges and meet increased demand.
This transformative technology adoption is forecast to create 990 new jobs, upskill 1,845 existing roles, and deliver an additional £162.4 million in gross value added (GVA) for the North West economy.
Donna Edwards, Programme Director for the Made Smarter Adoption programme in the North West, said: “Surpassing the milestone of 200 funded technology projects is a significant achievement for the Made Smarter adoption programme in the North West – and there is much more to come.
“Industry 4.0 is the future of manufacturing. Through it, the entire sector can reap endless rewards that will ultimately lead to considerable – and sustainable – growth. But upgrading to new technologies can seem like a complex and daunting task, and SMEs can miss out on significant improvements to their operations.
“Over the last two and half years we have developed a programme of wide-ranging support which cuts through the jargon to provide honest, impartial advice to help businesses identify the most effective digital tools, innovation and skills needed to make an everyday difference to their operations.
“I am delighted that so many manufacturing and engineering businesses of all sizes, from across all sectors, have realised the benefits of digital technology and would encourage other SMEs in the region to start their own conversation with us.”