Food and Beverage Business

Expansion of Made Smarter program to boost small and medium-sized food and drink manufacturers in the UK

Expansion of Made Smarter program to boost small and medium-sized food and drink manufacturers in the UK British food and drink sector, Made Smarter, Manufacturers, national roll-out, SME, turbo charge Food and Beverage Business

The UK Government has announced that the Made Smarter program, aimed at assisting SME manufacturers in the UK food and drink sector in accessing technology and digital skills, will now be extended nationwide. This commitment to expanding the Made Smarter Adoption Programme to all nine English regions in 2025-26 and later to Scotland, Wales, and Northern Ireland from 2026-27, is a significant step in boosting productivity, growth, and decarbonisation for SME manufacturers across the country.

The plan also includes an investment of £4.5 billion for British manufacturing, aiming to provide technology advice, leadership, skills training, grant funding for digital internships, and technology projects to hundreds of thousands of SME manufacturers.

The Made Smarter program, which was launched in the North West in 2019, has already shown promising results, with successful case studies such as Bells of Lazonby in Cumbria, Firstplay Dietary Foods in Greater Manchester, and Nutree Life in Lancashire, serving as inspiration for other regions.

The announcement coincides with the release of a new report by Made Smarter, outlining the impact of the adoption model and proposing ways to make it even better. Brian Holliday, Co-Chair of the Made Smarter Commission and MD of Siemens Digital Industries, expressed his optimism, emphasizing the business benefits of digitalization and its role as an enabler for industrial decarbonization.

Donna Edwards, Director of Made Smarter’s North West adoption programme, also commended the Government’s recognition of the impact of Made Smarter’s adoption programme on digitalisation of SME businesses, stressing the value technology and digital skills bring to the manufacturing sector.

Juergen Maier, Industrialist and author of the Made Smarter Review, expressed his delight at the expansion of the Made Smarter program, stating that it will provide much-needed policy continuity that will stimulate investment and productivity in the manufacturing sector.

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