BOLTON'S small and medium-sized companies have been encouraged to apply for grants from a £20million government scheme to upgrade their digital technology.

The Made Smarter North-West Pilot Scheme was launched in January.

It provides access to specialist technology advice, grants for the latest equipment and a leadership programme on how it can improve company competitiveness and productivity.

Funded student placements are also available to aid the introduction of their new technology strategy.

Bolton West Conservative MP Chris Green said : “New technologies can greatly benefit manufacturing businesses, which is why it’s so good to see the government support small and medium sized businesses in accessing this technology.

"If any manufacturing business owners believe that they are eligible, I encourage them to take a look at the 'Made Smarter' website and consider applying."