AMBITIOUS firms in East Lancashire are being urged to invest in new technology as part of a regional enterprise pilot.

Several ventures in the area have already taken advantage of the Made Smarter programme for the north west.

Promoters are looking to offer digital tools and technologies which will boost growth for small and medium-sized businesses.

The likes of Edward Taylor Textiles in Blackburn, Hope Technology in Barnoldswick, Panaz in Burnley, Allspeeds at Accrington and Clitheroe's Spiroflow have been among the latest recipients of Made Smarter funding.

An investment of around £2.2million is estimated to have been made, as part of the initiative, by firms taking part, supported by £500,000 worth of funding.

Steve Fogg, Lancashire LEP Chairman, said: "For areas like Lancashire, where manufacturing of all kinds is still so important, Made Smarter has been a welcome addition to the support we can offer to local businesses.

"This is a sector which continues to deliver good jobs and high wages, but we recognise the need to support the adoption of digital technologies.

"Lancashire businesses have benefitted from the expertise of the Made Smarter team, used grants to advance their plans and as importantly, they are accessing the leadership and skills support to fully realise the benefits of these technologies.”

Donna Edwards, programme director for the pilot initiative, added: “Over the last year the Made Smarter team has engaged with hundreds of makers from every corner of the region.

“We have found a great enthusiasm about the benefits of adopting new digital technology tempered by uncertainty of how to go about it. It’s clear SMEs need the specialist advice and insight to help them select the right approach for their business, how much to invest and which technologies will bring the greatest benefits."

The programme, which launched in November 2018, will run until March 2021.

For more information, companies are being advised to go online to