Technology hub reaches final stages of completion

High-tech manufacturing through Industry 4.0 will come to Brighouse in 2024, with the launch of the i4.0 Hub.

It will be where small and medium sized businesses can explore how digital technology can improve their productivity and increase innovation.

The project is part of the £19.1m Brighouse Town Deal, funded by UK Government and led by Calderdale Council and the Brighouse Town Deal Board.

£650,000 of this investment has been allocated to the Industry 4.0 project which is being delivered by Calderdale College who are developing the Hub at The Engineering Centre at Kirkdale House on the Armytage Road Industrial Estate.

i4.0 Hub will be officially launched in the New Year when the high-tech equipment, which will focus on augmented reality, advanced manufacturing and robotics, will be showcased to the town’s businesses and opportunities where they can benefit will be set out.

The centre will have capacity for 70 apprenticeships to be delivered as part of the project, and a range of new short training programmes designed to help employers upskill their current workforce will be offered.

The i4.0 Hub is just one of the Brighouse Deal projects, powered by Levelling Up, which aims to transform Brighouse, making it a more attractive place to live, work and visit.

The Brighouse Deal is a joint project between the town’s private and voluntary sector, community and residents’ groups, Calderdale Council and Calderdale College.

Other Brighouse Deal projects include developing public areas of the town centre and a brand new market building.

David Malone, principal and chief executive at Calderdale College, said: “We’re pleased to see the i4.0 Hub reach the final stages of completion, after working with local partners to create a centre that will prepare the future engineering workforce for their career.

“This new innovative facility will transform the way apprentices and employees in this industry train, digitalising our curriculum to open up the wide range of career options.”

David Whitehead, co-chair of the Brighouse Town Deal Board and managing director of Brighouse-based specialist textile finishers H & C Whitehead, said: “Brighouse has a proud and strong manufacturing heritage, so it is exciting to see a key part of the Deal ensuring it has an equally proud and strong future in the town, with a particular focus on the small and growing businesses who are the engine room of our economy.

“By funding training for young people, and providing facilities for growth, sharing skills and collaboration across Brighouse, there will be more opportunities available making our town an even more attractive place to work, stay and progress. I am excited to see the potential it can unlock.”

Calderdale Council’s cabinet member for towns, tourism and voluntary sector, Councillor Sarah Courtney, added: “As the first of the Brighouse Deal projects to reach completion, the i4.0 hub will be a catalyst for investment and employment opportunities in the area, supporting our ambitions for thriving towns and reducing inequalities.

“This state-of-the-art centre will offer include the latest technology and equipment to support the growth of digital and manufacturing skills, benefiting existing local businesses and individuals through the planned apprenticeship programme.”