£3.8million to help D2N2 area businesses make smarter use of information technology

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. £3.8m from the ERDF is now available for projects to provide SMEs with ICT support.

Ideas for projects might include:

  • supporting small and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs) to introduce new information and communications technology business models, to increase business performance
  • coaching, advice and mentoring to help SMEs access new markets through improved ICT connections
  • supporting businesses in developing relevant skills and training strategies for employees; mentoring and support in helping implement productivity improvements connected to ICT
  • running demonstration and pilot projects, to show SMEs how they can innovate through smarter use of ICT.

Individual projects must have a value of at least £1m. Bidders will be expected to provide half of that and the matching £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.

Businesses or organisations wishing to bid for a share of the £3.8m should make an outline application by Friday September 25..

The outline application form and guidance on how to apply can be found at www.gov.uk/european-structural-investment-funds/information-and-communications-technology-call-in-derby-derbyshire-nottingham-and-nottinghamshire-oc08r15p-0172

For more information on the ‘call’ to access part of the ICT funding, worth up to £3.8m, contact Richard Kirkland, D2N2 ESIF Co-ordinator, at email rcadkrln@22e.rihr.ikaddnlpog

The new funding to support ICT projects is part of a larger £214million ESIF allocation to D2N2 – the Local Enterprise Partnership which promotes economic growth across Derby, Derbyshire, Nottingham and Nottinghamshire – which will support a wide range of business support and community programmes, between 2014 and 2020.

More information on how the D2N2 Local Enterprise Partnership will use its £214million European Structural and Investment Funds (ESIF) allocation, between now and 2020, can be found at http://www.d2n2lep.org/EUFunding

For media enquiries on this news release call Sam Burbage, Social Media and Marketing Apprentice at the D2N2 LEP, on 01159 578254 or email smbraednlpoga.ubg@22e.r

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