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Cookson & Clegg and others secure funding from Made Smarter, UK

Cookson & Clegg, a garment manufacturer owned by fashion designer Patrick Grant has secured support from Made Smarter, a programme helping small and medium-sized manufacturers implement new digital technologies.

Cookson & Clegg, based in Blackburn, is among three fashion and textile companies working with the Made Smarter programme to help introduce digital tools and technologies to help boost productivity and growth, as well as navigate the impact of Covid-19.

Made Smarter is currently a pilot programme that is only delivering in the North West of England, with plans to roll out further at a later date.

Creative Apparel, which makes workwear from its base in Stockport and Roch Valley, a dance wear manufacturer in Heywood, also secured specialised advice and funding through the programme.


Victoria Grant, Cookson & Clegg’s operations director, explained the firm had implemented the Galaxius technology, an online system that documents the whole journey of the garment from sampling to delivery. It provides real-time information giving companies more visibility on costs, live progress reporting and full details of exactly who worked on any particular garment.

Patrick Grant, managing director of Cookson & Clegg, said: “With the support and advice of Made Smarter we have been able to pursue our ambitions of improving both productivity and cost control across our operations by adopting digital technology.

“Capturing data from the shop floor and being able to monitor it in real time is an exciting first step on our digital transformation journey.”

Digital technologies are transforming production processes every single day. Whatever you make, make it smarter. New technologies are changing the way we live and the way we work. They are transforming the way data is gathered and information is analysed and how businesses operate. These new technologies enable faster, more responsive, and more efficient processes to deliver higher-quality products at a reduced cost. Made Smarter helps makers keep their competitive edge, with digital tools that let people make an everyday difference to their business. Making business owners and decision-makers more aware of new technologies.

Made Smarter was launched 18 months ago and has since supported almost 950 SME manufacturers with advice and £2.5m of funding. Projects include the development of technologies to help manufacturers to integrate systems, capture and analyse data, or create simulations of their plants and processes. Others are using 3D-printing, automation, and robotics to solve business challenges and meet increased demand.

Made Smarter is currently only delivering in the North West of England, supporting small and medium-sized makers across Cheshire & Warrington, Cumbria, Greater Manchester, Lancashire and Liverpool City Region.

Companies can register for a free assessment and if eligible, the programme can help identify suitable digital tools and how to use them to make everyday improvements to the business. Up to 50% match funding is available, and there is also the option of a leadership programme developed with Lancaster University Management school, as well as a funded digital technology internship for your business.Register for a free business assessment here https://www.madesmarter.uk/msregister

Businesses based outside of the North West can still register your interest to be notified as soon as the programme launches in your area. For more information, visit www.madesmarter.uk.

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