By Leah Conway –
The Brighouse Deal is a £19 million plan to improve the town centre of Brighouse for residents, businesses and visitors.
Brighouse’s manufacturing heritage was planned to be a vital part of the plans. This will include investment into developing skills, funding apprenticeships and using innovative technology to support businesses.
Local businesses will be introduced to Industry 4.0 technology, which refers to the ‘fourth industrial revolution’ and includes a trend of integrating new technology and processes into the manufacturing industry such as Smart factories, Cognitive Computing and artificial intelligence, among more. The developments should help improve business productivity and efficiency.
The scheme will start as a pilot to test out what works best for the local businesses and what elements will help them grow. It’s a crucial part of the investment programme as Brighouse has one in six workers employed in the manufacturing sector.
The manufacturing legacy is derived from Brighouse’s strong history of innovation in the 18th-century manufacturing industries. The River Calder was central in powering the flour mill industry and textile mills. While Brighouse and many other industrial towns in England saw a decline in the manufacturing industries after World War One, Brighouse has successfully fostered and advanced its manufacturing industries.
This heritage has informed the decisions behind The Brighouse Deal and manufacturing remains central in driving forward future growth across the town.
Where will the investment go?
The money will be used to achieve several goals across the town. The funds will go into the following:
- Aim to increase capacity for apprentices by securing 70 additional roles across the town.
- Develop a new Brighouse Industrial Hub to showcase new advanced manufacturing methods and their benefits.
- Invest in more research and development in existing firms. Aims to encourage new knowledge-intensive businesses to the Brighouse area.
Important to the past and the present
David Whitehead, co-chair of The Brighouse Town Deal Board and managing director of Brighouse-based specialist textile finishers H & C Whitehead, said:
“This part of the UK is known around the globe as being a centre of manufacturing innovation. The towers of Sugdens Flour Mill are an enduring testament to Brighouse’s leadership in industrial revolutions of the past and we now have the opportunity of continuing to be a leader today.
“To achieve that, we need to invest in both technology and equipment and people and skills. The Brighouse Deal will do that by funding the apprenticeships and help businesses understand new methods of using data intelligence to allow their businesses to grow and others to move to this area or set-up, creating jobs and opportunities.
“I am proud that my business is a family firm that epitomises what we are trying to achieve. H & C Whitehead was founded in Brighouse in 1925 and ever since we have grown and constantly developed to become a world-renowned provider of innovative textile solutions.
“Together, we can build on our manufacturing heritage to ensure industry is as important to Brighouse’s future as it was to our past.”
You can find out more details about The Brighouse Deal and sign up for updates on their website here.