31 Jul 2019

Digital support across Leicester and Leicestershire continues

The Digital Growth Programme is set to continue for another three years thanks to a £5m funding extension.

The groundbreaking project which has helped thousands of businesses across Leicester and Leicestershire to enhance their digital skills will continue for another three years thanks to a £5m funding extension.

Launched in 2016, the programme gives local SMEs access to fully-funded workshops, financial support and free one-to-one advice to help them make the most of digital technology. It is funded by the European Regional Development Fund, Leicestershire County Council and East Midlands Chamber (Derbyshire, Nottinghamshire, Leicestershire).

The Chamber will have contributed £626,981 and Leicestershire County Council £170,000 to the programme over its six-year lifespan.

Anne Ford

The programme has seen 1,044 Leicester and Leicestershire businesses receive more than 23,000 hours of free digital support so far. It has also delivered 240 digital action-planning workshops and 48 awareness-raising seminars about a host of subjects.

More than £3m of funding has been invested into the programme so far, which helped to unlock an additional £2.25m of private sector investment from SMEs which received support.

Between now and March 2022, a further £5m will be pumped into the programme, with the aim of engaging with a further 2,000 businesses by providing bespoke digital advice and delivering 200 more workshops and 48 more seminars.

It will offer support from expert local digital professionals across ten new digital themes, which are: 

  • Cloud computing and cyber resilience
  • Ecommerce
  • International ecommerce and marketing
  • Email marketing, CRM and Big Data
  • Mobile marketing and productivity
  • Online marketing
  • Paid digital advertising
  • Social media
  • Video production and marketing
  • Website planning and development

Trevor Pendleton, cabinet support member for Leicestershire County Council, said: “We remain committed to making Leicestershire a great place for opportunities and business growth, which is why we are delighted to continue our support for the Digital Growth Programme.

“More than 1,000 local businesses have already received a huge amount of support to help them realise their objectives and embrace the opportunities that digital resources can bring. The next phase of the programme will ensure that even more business can access this vital support.”

Diane Beresford, the Chamber’s Deputy Chief Executive, added: “The response to the Digital Growth Programme so far has been fantastic, so we’re really pleased to be working alongside our funding and delivery partners to increase our investment in this crucial business support initiative.

“From trading online to adopting technology to streamline processes and increase productivity, the digital agenda is something that businesses of all sizes can no longer afford to ignore. The Digital Growth Programme is all about helping more local businesses to harness digital technology to unlock their full potential.”

To learn more about how the programme's support has helped Leicestershire businesses and the successes visit our case studies page

A new schedule of events will be announced shortly and listed on our events page. To keep up-to-date with the latest programme news and events, connect with us on Twitter or LinkedIn

Amazing workshop, provided tons of information about creating content - it's a must for any busy small business owner!

Rashpal Rai, Wellbeing Works, Derby

Best workshop I've been to, so relevant and current

Laura Bruce, Steel City Marketing, Sheffield

Really impressive workshop, with great in depth practical advice and examples. The explanation of hidden feature on social media was very useful and I will be going away from the session looking at building and executing a full social media strategy for my business. Thank you again for providing me access to workshop and the information if delivered.

Wossicon Brown, Sheffield

In addition to helping develop my digital presence, these workshops are helping me reshape and refocus my business

David Primrose, Synergy Food Ingredients, Melton Mowbray

I really appreciate the Digital Growth Programme and have benefitted from previous workshops and seminars. Now that my knowledge in this area is growing I am looking forward to attending more seminars so that I can build on my knowledge and skills

Dorinda Miller, Into Deeper Waters, Nottinghamshire

Before, Google Analytics was a bit of a minefield, but I now feel more confident to use it in the way that works best. Looking forward to future courses!

Emma Daley, SortRefer, Derby

The workshops exceeded my expectations! A huge amount of useful information delivered in a straight-forward, practical and professional way. I am leaving the day with lots of ideas for implementation and looking forward to attending the next workshop

Kate Brudenell, Hawthorn, Melton Mowbray

Really informative workshop, lots to take away and apply to our own site. This is a brilliant service on offer and I’m extremely grateful to be able to attend these workshops

Emma Bradley, Bradley Brown Internet, Nottingham

The GDPR seminar was fantastic and I have already to action certain points within marketing strategy.

Barry Aldridge, TidyCo Ltd, Derby

A massive thank you to Liam and the programme - an insightful and very engaging workshop. I particulary found the hashtag elements useful.

Efficiency North, Sheffield

The GDPR seminar was fantastic and I have already to action certain points within marketing strategy.

Barry Aldridge - Marketing Manager, Tidyco Ltd, Derby

Using my new blogging skills thanks to the fab blogging workshop I attended with Paul Ince.

Sally Davies, Jumpstart I.T Training Services Ltd, Arnold

Thank you Digital Growth programme, you made me believe in myself and gave me skills and knowledge to change our website. I strongly recommend these workshop to SMEs.

Svetlana Parmar, The Winchester Snooker Club, Leicestershire

The Digital Growth Programme is an excellent asset to the East Midlands – it has really helped my company push on in ways that otherwise may not have been possible

Carl Musson, S&J European, Leicestershire

The application is straight forward, access to the team for help is superb and the potential benefits to your company are huge

Carole Hunter, London Edge, Leicester

We used a digital grant to introduce new technology in our warehouse, allowing the guys allow to take on extra business. A lot of our customers are needing faster processing, and this will help us fulfil those orders. It allows us to be quicker and more accurate

James Munton, CS Ellis Ltd, Leicestershire