The region’s manufacturers are set to benefit from a share of a £1.5 million fund to support digital improvements in industry throughout the Humber.
The funding, part of the Department for Business, Energy & Industrial Strategy (BEIS) Made Smarter Adoption programme, will support businesses across the North of England and the West Midlands to adopt more digital technology – helping businesses to modernise, to make improvements to their operations, and to create more high-skilled jobs.
The Government hopes that by supporting adoption of industrial digital technology, such as robotics and automation, the programme can help level up regions by enabling manufacturers to increase their productivity, create high-skilled well-paid jobs and reduce their emissions.
The Made Smarter Adoption programme includes free impartial, expert advice, funded digital internships, access to specialised leadership and management training, as well as match-funding for digital transformation projects.
In the Humber, this support will be made available through the Humber LEP’s Business Growth Hub, working alongside neighbouring LEPs and their growth hubs in Yorkshire and the Humber to implement a programme of support, to ensure reach into a wide range of manufacturing SMEs businesses as well as coordination with existing local priorities and support offers.
The Made Smarter programme will sit alongside the current suite of support already provided by the Growth Hub, including its #GrowMySME Programme, the ScaleUp Programme, and the Digital Catalyst Programme. The LEP’s Local Digital Skills Partnership will provide strategic input into the delivery of Made Smarter in the region, and it is also anticipated that the scheme will augment and link-up with the wide range of existing business advice and financial support schemes already operating in the region.
Stephen Parnaby (left), chairman of the Humber LEP, said: “It is imperative that the Humber’s many manufacturing businesses use all the support available to them to adopt industrial digitalisation, as part of the government’s drive to make the UK a world leader in the ‘Fourth Industrial Revolution’ by 2030.
“Digital improvements can not only help a business to become both more competitive and productive, but can also help their operations to become more environmentally friendly and support a net-zero Humber.
“We want to help businesses understand the advantages of adopting more digital technology, which will make a real difference to their everyday operations, and will also help them to come back from the impact of the pandemic to build back both better and greener.”
While the plans to implement the Made Smarter Adoption programme in Yorkshire & the Humber are still to be finalised, the LEP is committed to working with its partners to roll out the scheme in the region in the coming months, both as the Humber LEP, and as the Hull and East Yorkshire LEP – in conjunction with Greater Lincolnshire LEP – after April 1.