Blogs - 14 December 2022

£3 million funding to benefit manufacturing businesses

The East Midlands Growth Hubs, led via a partnership between D2N2, Greater Lincolnshire and Leicester & Leicestershire LEPs, have successfully bid to secure £3m to support East Midlands businesses in the manufacturing sector over the next two and a half years.

The Government is extending the Made Smarter Programme to the East Midlands following a proposition from the East Midlands LEPs and industry partners which demonstrated the power of manufacturing in a region famed as the birthplace of the Industrial Revolution.

The investment is estimated to generate £80m in additional productivity, based on data from other Made Smarter Adoption Programmes.

Martin Rigley, Chair of the D2N2 Manufacturing Advisory Panel and MD of Lindhurst Engineering, said:

“Since coming together two years ago, the D2N2 Manufacturing Advisory Panel has successfully galvanised our world class manufacturing sector in response to both the COVID pandemic and driving forward the promotion of industrial digital technologies to boost productivity and make sure remain globally competitive.

I’m delighted that we have been successful with our Made Smarter proposals, which is a key programme in helping us achieve our ambitions for the East Midlands.

I’m proud to say my business has fully embraced digital adoption and thrived as a result and I’m determined to ensure our sector also enjoys the benefits. The Made Smarter programme will give manufacturing businesses across D2N2 and the region the chance to embrace digital transformation and increase productivity by as much as 25% while boosting employee skill levels and increasing the number of highly skilled, well paid jobs.

The programme will be launched imminently, and I encourage businesses to get involved.”

Frank Horsley, D2N2 Head of Business & Innovation, said:

“This funding supports small and medium sized manufacturing firms to boost their productivity through the adoption of digital technology, driving process efficiency and improving leadership and management skills. It has already been running in the North East, West Midlands, North West, Yorkshire & the Humber, with impressive results.

 “We are proud to have worked with our friends and colleagues from GLLEP and LLEP in securing this investment. Interest is already substantial and I’m sure the region will once again lead the way in driving forward UK manufacturing ”

The funding aims to provide advice to over 400 small and medium sized businesses, undertake 133 business assessments, provide intensive support to 70 businesses and boost the leadership and management skills of 36 senior manufacturing leaders.

The programme helps businesses implement more automation and take advantage of new technologies such as 3D printing, artificial intelligence and virtual reality, creating more high skilled jobs in the process.

The East Midlands exports £16.6bn, 6% of all UK manufacturing exports, and accounts for nearly 9% of the UKs total manufacturing GVA making it an important contributor the UKs overall manufacturing sector performance.



  • The East Midlands has a strong manufacturing heritage and is home to many internationally recognised manufacturing OEMs and Primes such as Toyota, Roll-Royce, Caterpillar, Triumph, Siemens, BAE Systems, Alstom, Novartis and JCB to name a few. The region is home to 16,410 Manufacturers, 10.4% of all businesses, of these, 2,790 are SMEs.
  • The Made Smarter Review set out that, through the faster development and adoption of Industrial Digital Technologies (IDT’s) UK industrial productivity could increase by at least 25% with a value of £455 billion by 2025. Made Smarter supports the UK industrial strategy aims of increasing UK productivity and growth, boosting earning power

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