FIT FOR THE FUTURE: The Made Smarter North West pilot has been extended
A programme which helps manufacturers modernise by adopting digital technologies has been extended, with a number of businesses in Greater Manchester already benefitting from the scheme.
The Made Smarter North West pilot was launched in 2018 to provide small and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs) with funding and specialist advice on how to increase their productivity and competitiveness by embracing digital tools and learning new skills.
The success of the programme led the government to announce last month the Adoption programme would continue in the North West and expand into the North East, Yorkshire and the Humber, and the West Midlands.
Since its launch, Made Smarter has engaged with over 350 businesses in Greater Manchester.
Overall, businesses in Greater Manchester have secured £885,000 in matched funding for 47 projects, generating £2.2m of private sector investment. The projects are forecast to deliver an additional £33m in gross value added (GVA) for the city-region’s economy over the next three years, creating 198 new jobs.
Mackinnon and Saunders, one of the world’s leading puppet-makers, is one of these businesses. The Altrincham-based puppet-maker has brought to life some of children’s most beloved TV characters including Bob the Builder, Postman Pat and the new Clangers, and collaborated with Hollywood directors Tim Burton on Mars Attacks!, Frankenweenie and Corpse Bride, and Wes Anderson on Fantastic Mr. Fox.
In recent years, the company has been increasing its use of computer-aided design and 3D printing technology. It now wants to embrace the latest developments in additive manufacturing and innovative software solutions to help design and create its models.
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