Successful tech grant scheme boosts local businesses
An initiative from the Cambridgeshire & Peterborough Combined Authority to help small and medium-sized businesses improve their productivity using digital technology has so far successfully distributed over half a million pounds.
Since the Digital Technology Grants for Business scheme was launched by the Connecting Cambridgeshire team earlier this year, over 150 local businesses across Cambridgeshire and Peterborough have benefitted from the scheme funded by the Combined Authority with additional EU money to boost recovery and growth in the region.
Many of the successful applicants to the scheme have purchased digital technology and services through other Cambridgeshire and Peterborough businesses and have been able to employ more staff to further support the local economy.
Dr Nik Johnson, Mayor of Cambridgeshire & Peterborough, said: “This grant funding scheme comes at a vital time to support businesses during the ongoing challenges from the COVID-19 pandemic. It’s an excellent opportunity for owners of local small and medium-sized businesses to invest in digital technology to support and increase their productivity.
“Funding from the Cambridgeshire & Peterborough Combined Authority is helping to drive economic growth, secure inward investment, and protect and create jobs across Cambridgeshire and Peterborough. This scheme has so far injected over half a million pounds into the local economy, supporting recovery, growth, and resilience by opening up new opportunities for local businesses.”
One business that has embraced the opportunity to invest in digital technology is Butlers Auto Electrical Ltd - who used the grant to buy the latest diagnostic equipment for hybrid and electrical vehicles together with a laptop to develop the business’s online presence. David Butler, Director, said: “We have been able to futureproof the business… which is getting noticed for being able to deliver faster, more accurate results than most garage workshop diagnostic equipment.”
Another business, IT company Riverlite used the funding to bring in external consultants to overhaul their existing digital platform and implement new systems to help with end-to-end automation. Paul Oggelsby, Managing Director, said: “We hired someone to focus on process and system improvement… the reality of the project we undertook was that it has kick-started the changes we need to continually make to ensure the business can scale successfully… to compete with larger competitors and lift the current glass ceiling on our growth ambitions.”
Read more about these and some of the other local businesses that have so far benefited from the scheme on the Digital Technology Grants for Business case study page on the Connecting Cambridgeshire website.
The scheme is now closed to new applicants, however businesses that have not been able to apply for the scheme or would like to explore other options for business support are advised to contact the CPCA Growth Hub.