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Success of West Midlands programme to help SMEs adopt digital tech sees 300 sign up during second phase

The success of a programme to encourage West Midlands manufacturers to adopt digital technology and boost productivity continues to grow after hitting another major milestone.

Since Made Smarter West Midlands entered into its second phase 12 months ago, an additional 300 companies have registered to receive support.

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 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.

Paul Sullivan, Digital Transformation Specialist at Made Smarter West Midlands, is one such expert who has worked with many businesses on the programme since its launch in 2021.

He said: “More and more businesses across the West Midlands are seeing the benefits of Made Smarter’s support, which is brilliant news.

“From installing new software to providing advice on purchasing advanced robots, we help businesses make informed decisions on what will work best for them, and advise them on applying for funding to help pay for them.

“This support comes at no cost to the businesses we work with, so there is no risk involved.

“Having 300 companies register in the second phase of the programme is fantastic, and we’d love to see even more businesses take advantage of the support available.”

Andy Street, Mayor of the West Midlands and WMCA chair, said: “Securing this extra funding from Government on the back of Made Smarter’s on-going success is fantastic news for our region’s manufacturing and engineering firms looking to embrace digital technology.

“Let’s not forget that prior to the pandemic the West Midlands was the fastest growing region in the UK and – as we get back on track – Made Smarter will help enhance our digital capabilities, driving renewed growth and generating high quality job opportunities for local residents.”

Craig Humphrey, Managing Director of the CW Growth Hub, said: “It’s amazing to see just how much Made Smarter West Midlands has taken off since its launch, and to reach 300 registrations in this second phase alone is exceptionally good news for the region.

“The fact that so many businesses in the West Midlands are looking to adopt new technology shows the ambition of this region and that the sector is facing a bright future.

“We would encourage any SMEs looking to boost their productivity to contact the team.”

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