Robots and other hi-tech systems are some of the investments made by small manufacturing firms in York and North Yorkshire after receiving grants of up to £20,000 since March, thanks to successful applications made to the Made Smarter programme.
The national programme, which runs until March 2025, focuses on helping manufacturing businesses in:
- Impartial advice from a team of digital specialists
- Creation of a digital roadmap for your business
- Access to a digital native to help with technology strategy or implementation
- Enhancing your digital skills with a dedicated learning hub
- Funding to support the purchase of hardware and software
Mike Pennington, business relationship partner of York and North Yorkshire Growth Hub, said: “I’m delighted with the start we’ve made for the York and North Yorkshire region, supporting these businesses.
“We’re helping firms who, though small, are serving global markets with some very interesting projects. I’m really pleased that in these difficult times, we’re making a real difference within our region to the manufacturing/food and drink sectors.”
Amongst the first companies to receive grants was Malton-based HMI Elements which is now upgrading parts of its production processes used to manufacture specialised IT equipment.
Director Howard Gould, said: “Given the volume of our orders, being able to invest in the latest manufacturing technology means we can become leaner and smarter.
“We’re also retaining all our workforce which I’m pleased to say we can redeploy into other production areas, further increasing efficiencies.”
Also receiving Made Smarter grants have been precision engineering firm Hunprenco, based near Filey, and Skipton-based food supplement business Health Innovations. A further six companies in the region have now applied for funding and digital support.
First Made Smarter roundtable session
23 business owners and directors from a wide range of sectors, including some of York and North Yorkshire’s biggest manufacturing bosses, gathered for the first Made Smarter roundtable event aimed at encouraging collaboration throughout the sector.
Delegates discussed the challenges and opportunities facing the sector. Skills, education and attracting young people into manufacturing careers were a high priority for many, with conversations also covering zero carbon supply chains, factors affecting growth and the four-day working week.
Following the roundtable, Mike Pennington said: “We’ve had a fantastic turnout from around York and North Yorkshire and it’s great to see everyone collaborating.
“The key message I got from the discussions today is that there is positivity around the region. While there are challenges, everyone is sharing their optimism.
“One of the things we heard a lot about today was the importance of engaging the workforce and attracting young people into manufacturing careers working with education providers. I’m really looking forward to meeting these challenges through further roundtables and peer discussions.”
The next Made Smarter roundtable will take place on Thursday, June 15 atCU Scarborough.
Find out more at madesmarter.uk and get in touch by emailing Mike Pennington, business relationship manager of York and North Yorkshire Growth Hub and Made Smarter (Yorkshire), at firstname.lastname@example.org