Craven businesses are being encouraged to apply for vouchers worth between £1,000 and £5,000 to help with digital and ICT improvements.
The Digital Enterprise Digital Growth vouchers are available from Thursday, September 28, for eligible firms to invest in a range of new digital and ICT solutions that encourage growth.
Connectivity vouchers worth up to £1,000 are also available for businesses to upgrade their digital connectivity/broadband.
Craven District Council is a partner of the Digital Enterprise Programme; a European funded initiative that aspires to help small and medium-sized enterprises to achieve digital transformation as they scale up and mature.
Councillor Simon Myers, Craven District Council’s lead member for Enterprising Craven, said: “This is a fantastic opportunity for ambitious businesses in Craven to upgrade their digital and ICT provision, leading to growth and innovation.
“We would encourage Craven firms to consider how they could benefit from this funding and get in touch with our Economic Development team if they need any support and advice in applying.”
BOSS Stationery, based in Snaygill Industrial Estate in Skipton, benefited from a Digital Enterprise voucher in Phase 1 of the project, last year.
Director George Bellas said: “We were able to get a Digital Enterprise voucher to help us develop a new website. We wanted to attract more people to our website and make it easier for customers to interact with it. We also launched our website with a social media campaign, and we’ve seen great traffic on our website – I’m sure that over time we will see a return on the investment.
“I would definitely encourage other businesses to apply for these vouchers – it’s so important to have an online presence these days.”
Project proposals for Digital Growth vouchers must demonstrate genuine digital transformation for the business, leading to improvements in business performance, increased productivity and innovation. Unlike Phase 1 where eligible projects were approved on a first come first served basis this time the process will be competitive for these highly sought after vouchers.
Priority for Connectivity Vouchers will be given to businesses that have little viable alternative connectivity options due to poor network coverage by mainstream providers.
No match funding is required and applicants should try to obtain two quotations for the work. Up to 250 connectivity vouchers are available on a first come first served basis.
Digital Enterprise is also running the Digital Knowledge Exchange, which is a programme of free to attend workshops, masterclasses and mentoring support available for business owners and managers that is being delivered across the City Region, including Craven. Masterclasses will cover topics such as cybersecurity, search engine optimisation, digital marketing and social media.