Local businesses embrace tech investment support programme

BUSINESSES in and around Tameside and Saddleworth are among the latest wave to join a programme which offers support with investment in technology.

Made Smarter is a government-funded, industry-backed initiative in the North West, adopting technologies as diverse as sensors, robotics, 3D printing and artificial intelligence (AI).

Small and medium-sized enterprises across Greater Manchester have invested £6.7 million in technology, supported by Made Smarter.

Saxon Furniture

The programme has helped secure £1.8 million in matched funding for businesses in the city-region. Backed by £4.9 million of private investment, these manufacturers are forecasting the creation of 451 jobs and 890 upskilled roles, boosting the city-region’s economy by £69 million.

Five local businesses have now got on board with the programme.

The managing director of Chandley Ovens, a manufacturer of commercial bakery equipment based in Hyde, said Made Smarter has been ‘the perfect partner’ as a newly formed employee-owned business with a brand new manufacturing site and a strategy focused on building a new future.

Emma Pattison explained: “Their support has enabled us to build an IT platform suited for our rapidly growing service business, to procure modern equipment and to develop our product ranges to lead the way in control, energy efficiency and ease of use.”

Stream Measurement, a manufacturer of flow meters based in Lees, has found working with the ‘knowledgeable’ team at Made Smarter ‘really useful’.

“It has allowed us to make a significant investment in our test facility which allows us to secure and grow our gas meter calibration services,” said Managing Director, Robert Allan.

“Our new rig will be one of the most accurate high-capacity rigs in the country with full automation to provide greater efficiency and help bridge skills gaps.”

Also benefiting are Foams 4 Sports, a safety equipment manufacturer in Ashton-under-Lyne; Stalybridge-based textile manufacturer Mactapes; and Alphin Pans, a manufacturer of bakeware and cookware based in Delph.

Made Smarter has now helped 300 businesses since its inception in 2019 and manufacturers are being urged to connect with the programme to access the funded support on offer.

JWF/Stream 1 SA :
JWF/Stream – Oldham Office
Picture by Stewart Attwood
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The Government has committed to continuing the North West adoption programme as part of a UK roll-out.

Donna Edwards, Director of the Made Smarter Adoption Programme in the North West, said: “Our mission is to engage with the thousands of manufacturers out there who we are certain could benefit from our support. As such, we are redoubling our efforts to reach more businesses, and to inspire and inform them about the benefits of technology adoption.

“For many, this may be helping them take the first step to digitise manual and paper-based systems or using sensors to capture vital production data.

“But for others with a digital infrastructure in place, they may be ready for sophisticated, boundary-pushing technologies such as analytics, machine learning and AI, which are evolving at unprecedented speed.”

More information can be found at www.madesmarter.uk


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