LEP secures £3.8m IT funding

Up to £3.8m from the European Regional Development Fund has been made available through the D2N2 Local Enterprise Partnership, for project bids to help small and medium-sized firms and social enterprises grow through smarter use of information and communication technologies (ICT).

The latest ‘call for proposals’ builds on current investment by Government, local authorities and D2N2 in infrastructure across its area, to increase broadband speeds.

D2N2 is now looking for bids for projects to help businesses and social enterprises take full advantage of better digital connectivity and ICT use; to improve productivity, access new markets, be more innovative and improve employees’ skills.

Individual projects must have a value of at least £1m. Bidders will be expected to provide half that and a further £500,000 would then be made available through the European Regional Development Fund (ERDF), via D2N2.

Proposals will need to show how they add value to the existing support offered through the D2N2 Growth Hub; which offers free, impartial business support and advice to businesses in the D2N2 area.

Peter Richardson, chairman of the D2N2 Local Enterprise Partnership, said: “Digital connectivity is a vital utility for business and is fundamental to achieving economic growth.

“Businesses making smarter use of information and communication technology will help drive the goal of the D2N2 Strategic Economic Plan, to create 55,000 new jobs in the area by 2023.

“We’d welcome project bids of impact and scale, which can readily deliver the vital support to businesses and social enterprises in our area, to take advantage of enhanced digital connectivity, particularly increased broadband speeds.”