LEP Growth Hub helps local tech firm boost production
A Yorkshire firm which produces technology for use in hazardous environments is the first in the region to receive a Made Smarter grant - part of a national government programme, managed in the region by York & North Yorkshire Growth Hub – part of York & North Yorkshire Local Enterprise Partnership.
Malton-based HMi Elements has received over £19,000 from the Made Smarter programme, after the company experienced a huge post-pandemic rise in demand for its specialist computers and touch-screen devices.
HMi Elements’ director, Howard Gould said the grant would be invested in technology to automate part of its production process where a high degree of precision is essential. He said:
“We deal exclusively with the oil and gas industries, and 99 per cent of our business is in exports. We are making products that must be safe in hazardous environments so every single product we make must be manufactured to a very high standard. Parts must sit together very accurately.
“We have been doing these measurements manually but it’s very time consuming. Given the volume of our orders, being able to invest in the latest manufacturing technology means we can become leaner and smarter.
“We’re also retaining all our workforce which I’m pleased to say we can redeploy into other production areas, further increasing efficiencies.”
Made Smarter was launched following an industry-wide consultation on how best to grow UK manufacturing through digital technologies, innovation and skills, and concludes in March 2025.
Mike Pennington, business relationship manager for Made Smarter in the York and North Yorkshire Region, said it was great to see HMi Elements receive the funding and that it came following efforts last year to raise awareness of the Made Smarter programme amongst the manufacturing sector.
“I’m delighted we’ve got this first grant over the line,” he said, “especially as it’s very nearly for the £20,000 maximum amount available to businesses under Made Smarter. It was a team effort between myself Jeff Long, and Howard, and I’m really looking forward to seeing more companies benefiting from Made Smarter grants and Tech support over the coming weeks and months.”
York and North Yorkshire businesses in the manufacturing sector, including food or drink, are invited to apply for a Made Smarter grant. For further details email Mike Pennington at Mike.firstname.lastname@example.org