Up to £10,000 technology funding up for grabs for Harrogate firms

Andy Smith, managing director of Arville Textiles, with Muz Mumtaz, programme manager of Digital Enterprise.
Andy Smith, managing director of Arville Textiles, with Muz Mumtaz, programme manager of Digital Enterprise.

Digital Enterprise has launched the third phase of its Digital Growth Vouchers scheme, which provides funding of between £2,000 and £10,000 towards new IT hardware and software, or to upgrade broadband connectivity.

Muz Mumtaz, Digital Enterprise programme manager.

Muz Mumtaz, Digital Enterprise programme manager.

Available to SMEs in the Leeds city region that employ between two and 250 people, with a turnover of no more than £43m, Digital Growth Vouchers can be used to fund at least 50 per cent of the cost of new technology.

Businesses have until June 15 to apply for funding.

Muz Mumtaz, Digital Enterprise’s programme manager, said: “It’s great news for Harrogate and the rest of the Leeds city region that we have been able to reopen the Digital Growth Voucher scheme. It has proven to be incredibly popular with smaller businesses who are often unable to invest in transformational digital technology under their own steam.

“Our scheme can provide significant funding for businesses and applying is quick and easy to do. We have a limited number of vouchers available and I would urge businesses who are interested in taking advantage of the scheme to apply now before it is too late.”

Clearpoint Recycling's commercial director Duncan Oakes with accounts administrator Tracey Bowling and and development director Sarah Sanpher.

Clearpoint Recycling's commercial director Duncan Oakes with accounts administrator Tracey Bowling and and development director Sarah Sanpher.

To be eligible for Digital Growth Voucher funding, firms must trade in a business-to-business environment, rather than direct to consumers, employ between two and 250 people and generate less than €50m (approximately £43m) turnover.

One company that has already taken advantage of the scheme is Wetherby-based Arville Textiles, which specialises in performance fabrics that are used to make bullet-proof and fire-proof clothing as well as bomb disposal suits.

Earlier this year, the manufacturer secured £9,000 of funding from Digital Enterprise, enabling it to streamline its internal communications systems and increase efficiencies.

Andy Smith, group head of marketing at the business, said at the time: “Our new technology is already leading to growth, with a 15 per cent increase in turnover expected for the current financial year, and we plan to be making new hires during 2018.”

Harrogate business Clearpoint Recycling more than tripled its workforce after boosting its digital connectivity with £5,000 of funding from the Digital Enterprise business growth programme.

The company has grown from five to 18 staff since 2016 when the business received funding from the Government-backed Digital Enterprise programme towards a £13,000 project to upgrade its connectivity and broadband access.

Commercial director and co-founder Duncan Oakes said: “The initial support from Digital Enterprise was, without doubt, instrumental in enabling us to grow and to take on an additional 13 staff in Harrogate in just two years with more hires planned over the coming months.”

For more information, see www.digitalenterprise.co.uk.