AMBITIOUS firms in Bolton and Bury 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 BEP Surface Technologies, in Radcliffe, W Howard Group in Astley and Joshua Greaves and Sons in Ramsbottom are among the most recent recipients of Made Smarter funding.

And Handrail Creations, as featured in last week's Bolton News, after installing their handiwork in prestigious London building projects like 22 Bishopsgate and the new Goldman Sachs headquarters, has been another beneficiary.

An investment of around £1million is estimated to have been made, as part of the initiative, by firms taking part, supported by £300,000 worth of funding.

Donna Edwards, programme director for the pilot initiative, said: "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 that 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.

"This is exactly how Made Smarter can and is helping businesses across the region.

"Made Smarter is relevant for any north west SMEs employing less than 250 staff who make, create, manufacture or engineer.

"The interest we have received in the first year has been incredible. I urge local businesses to get in touch and find out how digital technology can transform their business."

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

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