A cycle clothing manufacturer is gearing up for growth after investing £100,000 in new technology with the support of a government scheme.

Lusso in Radcliffe is a brand used by professional and amateur cyclists globally.

It is run by Jake Wright, a 24-year-old former professional cyclist and twice junior national time trial champion, who is leading the 40-year-old business through a digital transformation.

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With the support of Made Smarter, a government-funded initiative to help SME manufacturers digitalise, decarbonise and grow through technology, Lusso is replacing manual production processes with an auto systems, material scanner and photo digitiser technology.

The investment will speed up the cutting process by 80 per cent and increase productivity by 400 per cent, boost revenue, open up to global markets and create three new jobs in the next year.

It will also start a new chapter, allowing founder John Harrison, also a former champion cyclist, to retire, and maintaining Lusso’s position as one of the only two cycle clothing companies still making all its products in the UK.

Managing director Jake said: “We want to be recognised as one of the major cycling clothing brands in the UK, to build on the excellent strong reputation of our products and services by expanding into new markets, and to continue to grow international sales.

“Made Smarter has given us the know-how, the confidence and the digital tools to take this business to another level.”

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Lusso was established in 1982 by John and his wife Dorothy, and earned a reputation for the "quality, price, sustainability and longevity of its products".

Jake took over the business in 2021, keeping John on as part of the succession strategy.

After a rebrand, which included a new website, product restructure and increased marketing activity, orders increased.

But the business struggled to keep up with demand because traditional manual cutting processes relied on John’s skill and expertise.

Made Smarter worked with the business to create a digital roadmap to overcome key challenges and understand the process of pattern digitisation.

The technology will allow Lusso to meet the demand for custom cycling clothing for clubs, teams and even charity events, and allow the business to venture into other sportswear markets such as football, rugby, run and gym wear.

Jake added: “John built a fantastic and well-loved brand with his bare hands over four decades.

“I have been honoured to take on the business and develop a roadmap to a digital future and a successful one.”

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Director of Made Smarter’s North West adoption programme, Donna Edwards, said: “We are delighted to be supporting Lusso to accelerate its digital transformation.

“It is a fantastic example of a small business investing in technologies as a route to growth, prosperity and sustainability.

“Lusso is among hundreds of manufacturers in the region grasping the opportunities offered by Made Smarter which include expert, impartial technology advice, digital transformation workshops to help take that first step to transform a business, support with technology investment, and leadership and skills training.

“I would encourage other SME manufacturers to do the same.”

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