FIRMS in Yorkshire can make a bid for a major funding boost.
Businesses in the Leeds City Region can register with Digital Enterprise to ensure they are first in line to apply for a new three-year £6m round of tech investment funding, available from September.
The funding is designed to help smaller companies invest in digital technology such as new hardware and software as well as developing websites and apps, introducing new internet telephony and improving digital and broadband connectivity.
The UK Government and ERDF-backed initiative, which has been running since 2016, has so far helped more than 1,400 businesses, providing £3.6m of grants for £6.8m of match-funded projects and a wealth of educational opportunities to help firms improve their digital knowledge. Digital Enterprise 2.0 is set to launch in September to deliver more funding in the form of vouchers, as well training and practical assistance, aimed at boosting the city region’s digital competitiveness.
“Digital Enterprise 2.0 will be even bigger and better than our previous programme,” said Muz Mumtaz who heads the initiative. “We have listened to what businesses tell us about the most useful support we can provide in order to help them transform themselves via digital technology, and as a result we have broadened the programme so that help is available for an even a wider range of business tech investment.
“To date, we have provided funding for over 800 businesses and delivered training and networking to 600 more, with an estimated 1,200 jobs eventually created as a result. Well over three quarters of businesses who have engaged with the programme said Digital Enterprise support has had a transformational impact on how they use digital technology, and we are really pleased to be able to continue to provide this support.”
He added: “Ahead of the launch of the new funding scheme we are asking Leeds City Region firms to register at the Digital Enterprise website now. You can check your company’s eligibility and also indicate the support you would like to access. We will then get in touch with you when the programme kicks off in September and those businesses that have pre-registered will then be first in the queue.”
The Digital Enterprise initiative is open to SMEs in the Leeds City Region, which covers Leeds, Bradford, York, Harrogate, Wakefield, Kirklees, Calderdale, Craven and Selby. It aims to help businesses become more digitally adept in order to grow and create new jobs.
Roger Marsh, chair of the Leeds City Region Enterprise Partnership (LEP), one of the organisations providing funding for the programme, said: “Investment in digital and tech is essential not only to those working within the digital sector, but businesses in all sectors. This is a brilliant opportunity for even more companies to become equipped with digital technologies and develop the skills needed to thrive in a rapidly changing digital economy.”
For more information, and to register your interest and check eligibility for the programme, go to www.digitalenterprise.co.uk/de2