News - 15 December 2023

Made Smarter East Midlands is now open to micro-manufacturers

Following the Government’s Autumn Statement announcement of the nationwide expansion of Made Smarter Adoption until 2027, Made Smarter East Midlands has announced that the programme eligibility criteria will now be expanded to include micro-sized manufacturers with one to nine employees.

Since its launch a year ago, the East Midlands Made Smarter Programme has only been open to small and medium-sized (SME) manufacturers in Derbyshire, Nottinghamshire, Leicestershire and Greater Lincolnshire with between 10 and 249 employees. With immediate effect, the programme will now accept expressions of interest from micro- sized manufacturers through the national Made Smarter website.

Made Smarter East Midlands now offers the following support to the region’s micro manufacturing businesses (those with 9 or fewer staff)

  • Digital Road Mapping – a lighter touch road map, which will set out a Digital Implementation Plan
  • Access to 10 hours of fully-funded Industrial Digital Technology Advice
  • Grant funding to support CAPEX and revenue projects

Will Morlidge, Chief Executive, D2N2 LEP, said:

“Manufacturing is so important to the D2N2 region and we are delighted that the programme has been extended, and now includes micro-businesses.  With around 85% of D2N2 businesses classed as micro,  the new criteria will allow more of our manufacturers to get the support they need to grow and become more productive.”

Dr Chris Owen, Made Smarter Programme Director, said:

“We are absolutely delighted we can now expand the scope of the East Midlands Made Smarter programme to thousands of micro-manufacturers across the region. Since we opened our doors for business in December 2022, we have had a healthy interest from micro-sized manufacturers who are eager for support to adopt industrial digital technology, but we have been unable to help them.

We’ll be reaching out to all those micro-manufacturers who have already registered an expression of interest in Made Smarter East Midlands, and opening our doors to new expressions of interest. We have created a pathway of support specifically designed for micro-manufacturers, which is quicker and lighter touch, but still gives companies access to packages of free and impartial technical advice and grant funding of up to £20,000 to help them adopt industrial digital technology.”

Alongside the new pathway, the core programme will still continue to accept expressions of interest from manufacturers with 10 to 249 employees.

In just one year, Made Smarter East Midlands has engaged with over 150 manufacturing businesses across the region, providing much needed grant funding, free and impartial technical advice, digital transformation road mapping and leadership development.

For example, JIG UK Ltd wanted to modernise their manufacturing processes, so applied to Made Smarter East Midlands to make use of the expert support offered by the programme. Through digital innovation, the company has significantly boosted their capacity and productivity.  Read all about it in the JIG UK Ltd case study.

To find out more about what is available, visit the Made Smarter East Midlands website, where you can also express your interest in this new opportunity.

For media enquiries, contact:

Nicola Swaney

Head of External Affairs, D2N2 LEP

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