The Made Smarter programme, which supports small and medium-sized manufacturers in the North West with technology and digital skills, is set to be rolled out across all nine English regions in 2025-26, followed by Scotland, Wales, and Northern Ireland. Since its launch in 2019, the programme has created 1,550 jobs, upskilled 2,772 existing roles, and increased the North West GVA by £242m. The commitment to expanding Made Smarter will provide access to technology advice, leadership and skills training, grant funding for digital internships, and technology projects to hundreds of thousands more SME manufacturers. The plan will also boost productivity, growth, and decarbonisation for SME manufacturers across the country.
The government’s plans coincide with the publication of a new report from Made Smarter, “Delivering Impact: How Made Smarter Inspires Digital Transformation.” The report outlines the impact of the adoption model and proposes ways to make it even better.
Brian Holliday, co-chair of the Made Smarter Commission, said, “This announcement by the Treasury clearly demonstrates that UK manufacturing matters. It represents a tremendous investment boost for our makers that will enable confidence to invest in innovation, productivity, and sustainability.”
Donna Edwards, director of Made Smarter’s North West adoption programme, said, “The commitment to a national roll-out is a huge vote of confidence in the contribution SMEs make to UK manufacturing. It will undoubtedly turbocharge the digital transformation of the sector.”
Juergen Maier, author of the Made Smarter Review, added, “It is exactly this sort of policy continuity that our manufacturing sector is looking for and I know it will stimulate investment and productivity.”