Businesses and organisations across Derbyshire and Nottinghamshire can now apply for grants of up to £16,000 to improve their digital capabilities through a £7.2m programme - half funded by the D2N2 Local Enterprise Partnership.
A grant scheme has been set up through the D2N2 Digital Growth Programme, which aims to help enterprises with growth aspirations to maximise their use of existing technology, or to explore and introduce new and emerging information and communications technology (or ICT) products.
Grants of between £2,000 and £16,000 are available to businesses and other organisations which register to take part in the scheme. Grants are to cover 40% of the total cost of ICT improvements, up to the £16,000 maximum, with applicants having to match-fund that amount to make up the balance.
The overall aim of the D2N2 Digital Growth Programme is to encourage and improve competitiveness and productivity. Free information events to publicise the programme were held across Derbyshire and Nottinghamshire in February and March (one is pictured above).
D2N2's £3.6m investment in the programme is coming from the ERDF (European Regional Development Fund) portion of its wider €250million in European Structural and Investment Funds (ESIF); EU funding to be spent over six years (up to 2020) on projects to help small and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs) be more competitive and expand.
The remaining £3.6m for the programme will come from partners Nottinghamshire County, Nottingham City, Derbyshire County, Derby City and Rushcliffe Borough Council; Nottingham’s Creative Quarter Company and East Midlands Chamber (Derbyshire, Nottinghamshire, Leicestershire); and through businesses participating in the grant element of the Programme.
The grant scheme is being delivered by a partnership including East Midlands Chamber, Nottinghamshire and Derbyshire County Councils, and Nottingham City Council.
Peter Richardson, Chair of the D2N2 Local Enterprise Partnership, said: “Through this significant investment in the D2N2 Digital Growth Programme, the D2N2 LEP and its partners will aim to address businesses’ needs.”
Diane Simpson, Deputy Chief Executive at East Midlands Chamber, who is also the Chamber’s lead on the project, added: “Knowing the true value of digital technology and understanding what is right for your enterprise can be a daunting challenge, making it all too easy to miss out on opportunities for improvement.
“The programme we’re delivering will help organisations across Derbyshire and Nottinghamshire to explore new ICT products, and introduce them in their workplaces to help make them more competitive and more productive.”
Adrian Smith, Nottinghamshire County Council’s Corporate Director – Place, said: “There is a growing and rapid need for UK businesses to make sure they are digitally aware and capable, so that they will be best-placed to capitalise on the global opportunities awaiting them in a post-Brexit economy.
“This programme provides all the expertise available, providing real foundations for future growth. We would encourage businesses to make the most of this great opportunity to stay ahead of the game.”
The D2N2 Digital Growth Programme is due to run until 2019. It will deliver:
- 360 action-planning workshops
- an annual digital conference
- a dedicated digital business advice
- workforce development skills advice
- £1.8m technology grant scheme managed by the local authorities.
At least 2,380 businesses will be engaged with over the course of the programme; resulting in 852 businesses receiving intensive support, the creation of 69 new businesses, and 639 businesses introducing new digital products or processes.
Businesses interested in finding out more about the D2N2 Digital Growth Programme grants, which are subject to eligibility criteria, can visit and register at www.ebusinessclub.biz/technology-grants
For more information on how the private sector-led partnership of D2N2 is using its EU funding to stimulate economic and jobs growth across its area of Derby, Derbyshire, Nottingham and Nottinghamshire see its website at www.d2n2lep.org/EUFunding
Media wanting to know more about the D2N2 LEP can contact Sean Kirby, D2N2 Communications Manager, on 0115 957 8749 or email: firstname.lastname@example.org