Cumbria Gets First Chance To Tap Into £20m Manufacturing Business Support Programme

Made Smarter, the government-backed £20m business support programme aimed at North West SME manufacturers who want to embrace more digital technologies, has announced details of its first Cumbria event.

Taking place at J36 Rural Auction Centre, Milnthorpe, on the morning of May 16, the Manufacturing Made Smarter In Cumbria workshop will give the region’s manufacturers a chance to find out first-hand all about the new Made Smarter programme.

This includes finding out more about how to qualify for free advice and funding support to help with the adoption of new, smarter production methods such as 3D-printing, the use of ‘big’ data and the latest design software.

Experts in robotics and automation, additive manufacturing, Artificial Intelligence (AI), the Internet of Things (IOT), and other advanced manufacturing processes, will also be on hand to give advice and share their knowledge.

North West companies who already have some ideas about how they would like to upgrade their technology, or explore something new and radical, will be able to speak to specialist digital technology advisors about Made Smarter’s match-funded grant scheme.

Firms who attend will also get the chance to register for an audit of their business from a Made Smarter consultant who will visit their premises. The consultant will then prepare a diagnostic report together with recommendations regarding how new technology could potentially help the company increase productivity, cut operating costs and develop new processes and products.

As well as an exhibition there will be a panel discussion featuring representatives from Made Smarter, Cumbria Manufacturing Service, Cumbria Growth Hub, the Department for International Trade, as well as Jane Moorby from Oxley Group, who is a member of the Made Smarter North West Steering group.

Covering topics such as skills, funding, barriers, support and leadership, this discussion will serve as a platform to understand available support, glean best practice and takeaway useful actions to help grow businesses. Attendees will also be able to ask questions of the panel through an anonymous live question poll.

Leading the Milnthorpe event will be Made Smarter Programme Manager Alain Dilworth.

He said: “Cumbria is home to some innovative, diverse and highly experienced specialist manufacturing firms with world class expertise in agri-tech, food production, energy, aerospace and pharmaceutical.

“It’s therefore fantastic that we are hosting this event in the county, and we are greatly looking forward to tapping into Cumbria’s long, passionate and proud tradition of innovation, production and global commerce.”

“If you have any ideas or questions about how to innovate, digitalise or upgrade your systems and workforce skills – come along and learn about how the breadth of support in Cumbria can support your journey.”

Places for the Manufacturing Made Smarter In Cumbria session are free but limited and registration is essential.

More information and details of how to book can be found at

Any company interested in the Made Smarter business support programme can find out more at

Made Smarter