Furniture and home goods makers in Cumbria are being urged to use the ongoing home improvement boom as a catalyst for digital transformation.

The sectors, which produce sofas, beds and furnishings, face a challenging time following the pandemic, Brexit and rising inflation.

However, the huge demand for interior design, home and garden products and customisation, as well as a further shift to online shopping - driven by a lockdown-induced focus on home upgrades - looks set to continue, presenting a significant opportunity to manufacturers.

The ongoing renovation boom means the UK furniture and furnishings market, worth an estimated £14bn and the second largest in Europe, is estimated to grow by around 3% in 2022.

In Cumbria: Furniture and home goods makers are being called on to take up this opportunityFurniture and home goods makers are being called on to take up this opportunity

12 SMEs in Cumbria are among 140 working with Made Smarter’s Adoption Programme in the North West to navigate the multitude of challenges and capitalise on changing trends. 

Donna Edwards, Programme Director for Made Smarter’s Adoption Programme in the North West, said: “Digital tools can help manufacturers make marginal savings, set themselves apart from competitors in a volatile time, make products quicker, affordable and more efficiently.

“Working with Made Smarter we are helping businesses introduce technologies incrementally, making the most of funding and support to minimise the impact on budgets.

James Tanner Joinery, a manufacturer of bespoke sash windows, doors and staircases, based in Kendal, adopted an Industry 4.0-ready, five-axis CNC machine and software.

James Tanner, Managing Director, said: “The investment was game-changing for us. Now we have taken this first step, I can see the possibilities. And that is very exciting.”

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