The West Midlands is to benefit from £8 million government funding for small and medium sized enterprises (SMEs) to help them modernise, go digital and create new jobs.
The funding, part of the government’s Made Smarter Adoption programme, will support up to 1,000 small and medium sized manufacturers, across the North West, North East, Yorkshire and the Humber and the West Midlands regions, in adopting digital technology.
A pilot of the programme launched in January 2019 in the North West and has already worked with more than 1,000 firms and directly supported over 500 businesses to use digital technology to overcome challenges or access opportunities to grow their business.
Minister for Investment, Lord Grimstone, said: “The proof is in the pudding and for the companies that have adopted the latest digital technology they are already reaping the rewards.
“By supporting adoption of industrial digital technology, such as robotics and automation, additive manufacturing or the Internet of Things, the programme can help level up regions by enabling manufacturers to increase their productivity, create high-skilled well-paid jobs and reduce their emissions.”
Innovation Lead for the West Midlands Combined Authority, Jamie Elliott, said: “This funding is a step in the right direction. We have 14,500 SME manufacturers in the West Midlands many of which would benefit from access to new technologies, which would both boost the region’s economy, help create skilled jobs and contribute towards a cleaner, greener West Midlands.”
Rolling out the ‘Made Smarter Adoption’ programme to additional regions is set to help more manufacturers, with support for firms in the North West continuing.