UP TO 300 new jobs could be created thanks to a multimillion-pound investment in technology across the county.

This comes as part of the Made Smarter programme, which aims to help small and medium sized enterprises introduce digital tools and technologies to boost productivity and growth, and to navigate the impact of the coronavirus pandemic.

The programme now predicts that thanks to over 140 businesses making use of its digital tools and technologies workshop along with £4.7 millions worth of investment, almost 50 new jobs could be on the horizon in Blackburn alone, with more to come in Burnley, Pendle and Chorley.

Made Smarter chair Juergen Maier CBE said: "I am delighted to see the positive impact that Made Smarter’s adoption pilot is having on individuals, businesses, the environment, and the UK economy.

"In the tumultuous times we face, it can be tempting to simply cut costs rather than invest.

“Yet, in the long term, this approach runs the risk of businesses getting left behind.

"For the UK manufacturing sector to thrive and become a world leader, we need to find ways to encourage innovation and the adoption of digital technologies.”

Made Smarter, which is run in partnership with Lancaster, Liverpool and Manchester Metropolitan Universities, forecasts that as well as the news jobs created in the county, a further 760 existing jobs could be significantly upskilled.

Lancashire Telegraph: Made Smarter: Matthew Harte and Tarun Kakka of Burnley firm ElucedaMade Smarter: Matthew Harte and Tarun Kakka of Burnley firm Eluceda

Matthew Harte and Tarun Kakka of Burnley firm Eluceda

Manufacturers have also benefited from Made Smarter’s digital technology internships which offer students and graduates paid placements to work on live technology projects.

One company to benefit from working with Made Smarter has been Darwen-based Pendle Doors.

Operations director Ryan Anderson said: "We have been delighted by our experience working with Made Smarter.

“The support and advice has accelerated our ambitions to improve digitalisation across the business.

"We invested in a 3D printer which has enabled us to manufacture machine parts and jigs, which gave increased productivity while saving time and money.

“We have also managed to use the technology to add value to our services by creating a component which helps our customers comply with fire door regulations.

"We are also part way through a data and systems integration project which will ultimately digitalise our shop floor and get rid of paperwork.

“This will transform our manufacturing processes and unlock key data in our organisation."

The technology adoption projects are forecast to deliver an additional £44 million in gross value added for the Lancashire economy over the next three years.

Eluceda, a detection technology business in Burnley, was another local firm to benefit.

Managing director Matthew Harte said: “With the support of Made Smarter, we have accelerated our development of a next generation solution to meet the demand for cheaper and simpler rapid testing and screening.

“Successful delivery of the project will have a significant transformational impact on the business, increasing revenues, accelerating growth, creating jobs and developing new markets.”

To find out more about Made Smarter, go to: https://www.madesmarter.uk/.