Made Smarter West Midlands awarded £2.3m of funding to continue work

The success of a major scheme to help West Midlands manufacturers boost productivity by adopting digital technology has seen it awarded £2.3m of funding to continue its work.

Since launching in 2021, Made Smarter West Midlands has advised more than 300 businesses across the region around which digital technology is most suitable for them, with more than 70 accessing grant money to help them pay for the improvements.

Now, Made Smarter will be able to continue this work thanks to an extra £2.3m of funding awarded to the scheme by the Department for Business & Trade – the third such pot of funding given to the scheme.

The programme has been led by Coventry and Warwickshire Growth Hub with fellow support organisations, Business Growth West Midlands and Worcestershire, The Marches, and Stoke-on-Trent and Staffordshire Growth Hubs on behalf of the West Midlands Combined Authority (WMCA) and the Department for Business and Trade.

The Growth Hubs work alongside strategic partners WMG, at the University of Warwick, and the Manufacturing Technology Centre (MTC) in Coventry to provide expert advice to businesses and improve their productivity.

Craig Humphrey, Managing Director of the CW Growth Hub said: “It’s fantastic that Made Smarter West Midlands has been given a third round of funding to help even more businesses in our region get the support they need to adopt game-changing digital technology.

“We are finding that a lot of SMEs realise they have hit bottlenecks or that investment is needed for them to grow, but do not have the time or resources to actively pursue a solution.

“Made Smarter’s work is key to helping these businesses take the next step forward – our help comes at no cost to the business. And we have already helped dozens across a wide range of sectors access the funding they need to grow.

“It is a real vote of confidence that the scheme has been renewed once again and we are looking forward to talking to even more businesses and finding the best technology for them.”

Andy Street, Mayor of the West Midlands and chair of the WMCA, said: “Small and medium sized businesses are the backbone of the West Midlands economy, employing tens of thousands of local people. It’s therefore absolutely essential they have the expert support they need to take advantage of fast changing digital technology so they can use it to adapt to new and smarter ways of working.

“Our Made Smarter programme allows businesses to do exactly that, and so I’m delighted further funding has been awarded to keep the scheme going.”