Businesses and organisations across Derbyshire and Nottinghamshire can now apply for grants of up to £16,000 to improve their digital capabilities.
The grants are available through a £7.2 million programme, half funded by the D2N2 Local Enterprise Partnership.
A grant scheme has been set up through the programme, which aims to help enterprises with growth aspirations to maximise their use of existing technology, or to explore and introduce new and emerging ICT products.
Grants of between £2,000 and £16,000 are available to businesses and other organisations which register to take part in the scheme.
Grants are to cover 40% of the total cost of ICT improvements, up to the £16,000 maximum, with applicants having to match-fund that amount to make up the balance.
The overall aim of the programme is to encourage and improve competitiveness and productivity.
D2N2’s £3.6 million investment in the programme is coming from the ERDF (European Regional Development Fund) portion of its wider €250 million in European Structural and Investment Funds (ESIF) – EU funding to be spent over six years (up to 2020) on projects to help SMEs be more competitive and expand.
The remaining £3.6 million will come from partners Nottinghamshire County, Nottingham City, Derbyshire County, Derby City and Rushcliffe Borough Council, Nottingham’s Creative Quarter Company, East Midlands Chamber (Derbyshire, Nottinghamshire, Leicestershire) and through businesses participating in the grant element of the programme.
The grant scheme is being delivered by a partnership including East Midlands Chamber, Nottinghamshire and Derbyshire County Councils, and Nottingham City Council.
Peter Richardson, chair of the D2N2 Local Enterprise Partnership, said: “Through this significant investment in the D2N2 Digital Growth Programme, the D2N2 LEP and its partners will aim to address businesses’ needs”.
At least 2,380 businesses will be engaged with over the course of the programme, resulting in 852 businesses receiving intensive support, the creation of 69 new businesses, and 639 businesses introducing new digital products or processes.