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The scheme helps businesses boost productivity and growth using digital tools. Small to medium-sized manufacturers across sectors have secured £4.6M matched funding for 241 projects, worth £16M after private sector investment.

The Government-funded and industry-led initiative said the 200 business milestone had been hit in part by the engagement of food and drink manufacturers. 

Among the latest wave of manufacturers to use technology to benefit their business were: Ennerdale Brewery, a craft beer maker in Rowrah; English Lakes Ice Cream in Kendal; and Firstplay Dietary Foods, a low protein product maker in Stockport.

Fitzpatrick Bourne Flexible, which makes filter materials for pyramid tea bags in Rossendale; Morrow Brothers, a brewery container repair and refurbishment specialist in Chorley; Mantle Packaging Machinery, a food packaging machinery manufacturer in Clitheroe; and CoolKit, a specialist manufacturer of temperature controlled vehicles in Burnley, had also benefited.

Business case

Earlier this year it was revealed​ that potato producer Flyde Fresh and fabulous, chocolate manufacturer Ye Olde Friars and cake and pudding maker Classic Desserts were among the latest businesses to sign up to the north west Made Smarter Adoption programme.

Kendal Nutricare, based in Kendal, which makes nutrition products including infant formulas and baby cereals, used Made Smarter’s digital internship programme to prove the business case for employing a data analyst to harness the value of data collected in its factory.

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