The D2N2 Digital Growth Programme gives small and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs) access to free workshops, financial support and one-to-one advice to help them introduce new digital technology to their organisations.
More than £6.8million has been invested in the programme by East Midlands Chamber and Derby City, Derbyshire County, Nottingham City, Nottinghamshire County and Rushcliffe Borough councils; and also from the European Regional Development Fund (ERDF), via the wider €250million European Union funding allocation of the D2N2 Local Enterprise Partnership.
More than 300 delegates attended the D2N2 Digital Conference and Expo 2019 yesterday (May 16) at the Nottingham Belfry Hotel; to get the latest insights and advice from keynote speakers and local digital experts, as well as to celebrate the successes of the programme. A ‘highlights reel of the Conference can be seen online at www.youtube.com/watch?v=xsOWa1nfw90
Delegates heard that, to date, the Digital Growth Programme had:
- provided 1,300 businesses with more than 31,000 hours of free digital support;
- distributed more than £1.8million in grant funding to 310 eligible businesses, in turn unlocking an additional £2.7m of private sector investment from SMEs receiving support;
- delivered 340 action-planning workshops and 48 awareness-raising seminars about a host of digital subjects; including cloud computing and cyber resilience, e-commerce, email marketing, customer relationship management, website search engine optimisation, social media, and website planning and development.
It was announced at the Conference that the digital support provided by the programme will continue for the next three years and be delivered by the D2N2 Growth Hub, part of the D2N2 Local Enterprise Partnership. The D2N2 LEP is the private sector-led Partnership which promotes economic growth across Derby, Derbyshire, Nottingham and Nottinghamshire.
Chris Pook, D2N2 Growth Hub Manager, said: “Derbyshire and Nottinghamshire SMEs have forged a really strong reputation for digital innovation, and it’s crucial that they continue to be supported so they can enhance their capabilities to help the local economy to grow.
“The Digital Growth Programme has provided fantastic support to local firms overt the past three years and we are delighted to be able to continue this in the years ahead, via the D2N2 Growth Hub.
“I’d urge all businesses who need digital advice and support, or are looking at ways to get a new project off the ground, to get in touch with one of our advisers.”
Diane Beresford, Deputy Chief Executive of the East Midlands Chamber, (Diane and Chris are pictured below at the Conference) added: “The Digital Growth Programme to date has been a huge success and we have been delighted with the response from the business community.
“More than 1,300 local businesses have engaged with the programme, which is great, and it was fantastic to see so many of them at the Digital Conference as we celebrated the achievements of the programme so far.”
HSG, a Derby-based washroom hygiene and water conservation solutions business, was granted £22,000 in funding through the Digital Growth Programme; using it to develop a bespoke app and dashboard, called Cleen, which gives venues better control over their washroom management.
Sonia Harvey, HSG Brand Manager, said: “The Cleen app and dashboard give business owners the opportunity to monitor the performance of their washrooms to enhance their overall experience, by acting on instant feedback.
“The product is tailor-made for sports venues, restaurants and NHS Trusts and since launch, we have opened up a host of avenues for this fast-growing area of the business.”
Staff at Nottinghamshire brand, marketing and communications agency Champions (UK) Plc attended 72 hours’ worth of workshops on digital topics through the Programme. It also provided £56,000 funding towards new IT hardware, software and equipment to help the company establish a new Digital Hub at its Costock head office; which led to the creation of nine jobs and an apprenticeship, saving the SME £60,000 and generating £40,000 in sales in its first three months.
Matthew Hayes, Champions’ Managing Director, said: “As a fast-growing communications business with a growing emphasis on digital, it’s crucial that we keep up with technology to continue providing value to our clients.
“The Digital Growth Programme has enabled us to equip staff with the latest digital skills, while the financial support has been fundamental in enabling us to futureproof the business, increase our capacity and further enhance our creative offering.”
Further information on the D2N2 Digital Growth Programme’s workshops and events, and support packages, are available at its website at www.ebusinessclub.biz/
Media requiring further information about the D2N2 LEP can contact D2N2 Communications Manager Sean Kirby on 0115 9578749 or email: email@example.com