A PIONEERING leadership programme for business has aided a Ramsbottom manager.

Several up-and-comers were signed up for the Made Smarter initiative, offered by the government scheme with Lancaster University's management school.

And Jamie Philipps, processing boss at Fintek, an engineering firm specialising in surface finishing, who signed up for their first intake, is already feeling the benefits.

He said: "This course has helped give insight into the leadership techniques you need as well as the digital strategy.

"It’s made me realise just how far behind we are - but we have taken that first step.

"There’s always a danger when you talk about digitalisation with you team what you want to achieve that they are put off by the scale, because of how busy they are.

"It’s important to focus only on one element a time to show the benefits that will bring. We are all in different areas of manufacturing, but we all have the same problems."

An early site visit has seen them tour Runcorn-based Hosokawa Micron, a powder processing concern, which has transformed its production routine through digital techniques. Further workshops and visits are planned.