After 18 months of planning, high-tech manufacturing through Industry 4.0 is set to arrive in the heart of Brighouse in 2024 with the launch of the i4.0 Hub. Here, small and medium-sized businesses can explore how digital technology can enhance their productivity and foster innovation. This initiative is part of the £19.1 million Brighouse Town Deal, funded by the UK Government and spearheaded by Calderdale Council and the Brighouse Town Deal Board.
The project has allotted £650,000 to the Industry 4.0 project, which is being executed by Calderdale College at The Engineering Centre at Kirkdale House on the Armytage Road Industrial Estate. The i4.0 Hub will be unveiled in the new year, showcasing high-tech equipment focusing on augmented reality, advanced manufacturing, and robotics, and outlining benefits for local businesses.
The center will accommodate 70 apprenticeships and offer new short training programs to help employers upskill their workforce. This initiative is part of the Brighouse Deal projects, aimed at transforming the town and making it a more enticing place to live, work, and visit. It is a collaborative effort between private and voluntary sector, community and residents’ groups, Calderdale Council, and Calderdale College.
David Malone, principal and chief executive at Calderdale College, expressed delight at the i4.0 Hub’s progress, emphasizing the facility’s role in preparing the future engineering workforce and revolutionizing training for apprentices and industry employees.
David Whitehead, co-chair of the Brighouse Town Deal Board and managing director of Brighouse-based specialist textile finishers H & C Whitehead, highlighted the initiative’s focus on empowering small and growing businesses, ultimately making the town a more appealing place for work and progression.
Cllr Sarah Courtney, Calderdale Council’s Cabinet Member for Towns, Tourism, and Voluntary Sector, commented on the i4.0 hub’s potential to stimulate investment and employment opportunities, supporting the town’s aspirations for thriving towns and reducing inequalities. This state-of-the-art center will provide the latest technology and equipment to cultivate digital and manufacturing skills, benefiting local businesses and individuals through the planned apprenticeship program.