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East Midlands Chamber News

Boost for local business as forward-thinking firms flock to digital showcase event


Dozens of businesses benefited from the very latest updates in the world of digital technology at a special showcase event held at Rushcliffe yesterday (28 September).


Over 90 business delegates attended the all-day session, delivered as part of a partnership project designed to help grow the local economy through the provision of workshops, seminars and grants.


Funded by Rushcliffe Borough Council and delivered by the Chamber and Rushcliffe Business Partnership, the free event focused on some of the latest developments in digital technology – helping companies better connect with their customers and drive up sales and productivity.


Cllr Simon Robinson, Leader of Rushcliffe Borough Council, opened the event at Rushcliffe Arena.


He said: “Thanks to all delegates and partners who joined us – their contributions, knowledge and enthusiasm made for a great atmosphere and a really productive day. I know they will have gone away with some great tips and advice which they can easily put into practice to boost their operations.


“It was a great opportunity to bring together the local business community, as well as key partners, as part of our wider commitment to support innovation and to help increase skills and knowledge.”


The event was part of the three-year D2N2 Digital Growth Programme that provides dedicated support and grants to small and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs) located in the D2N2 area of Derby, Derbyshire, Nottingham and Nottinghamshire and runs until June 2019.


Shamshad Walker from Rushcliffe Business Partnership, said: “Listening to the expert speakers on the day demonstrated just how quickly the world of digital technology moves on. At the heart of this event was a desire to help businesses – particularly small and medium-sized enterprises – to tap into this knowledge so they remain well placed to grow and innovate in their marketplace.”


The day’s speakers focused on three key areas - what’s new in the world of online search, the latest trends in social media and how to make the best use of data to deliver products and services to customers.


There were also opportunities to connect with like-minded businesses, including a networking breakfast sponsored by Rushcliffe Business Partnership.


The Digital Growth Programme is part-funded by the European Regional Development Fund (ERDF). It has so far engaged with almost 1,430 SMEs across Derby, Derbyshire, Nottingham and Nottinghamshire, with over £2.2m of grant projects being delivered to help SMEs use new technology within their business to increase productivity – with aspirations to deliver £4.5m.


Diane Beresford, Deputy Chief Executive at East Midlands Chamber, said: “It was great to see so much enthusiasm in the room – with a lively question and answer session – and we’re delighted that businesses took so much away from the day. It shows the real appetite that SMEs in this area have to grow and thrive.


“The programme runs a varied and comprehensive project of workshops and seminars across ten digital technology themes – from social media to using virtual reality. We would urge people to take a look at what is on offer and get even more out of this project.”


More information about the programme and the range of free support available can be found at www.d2n2-digital.co.uk




Cllr Simon Robinson, Leader, Rushcliffe Borough Council, Shamshad Walker, Rushcliffe Business Partnership, Jon Egley, Digital Growth Programme Manager, Diane Beresford, the Chamber's Deputy Chief Executive and Cllr Andy Edyvean, Rushcliffe Borough Council

Notes to editors

1. About the D2N2 Digital Growth Programme

The D2N2 Digital Growth Programme is a project part-funded by the European Regional Development Fund (ERDF) and matched funding is provided by the programme partners including Nottinghamshire County, Nottingham City, Derbyshire County, Derby City and Rushcliffe Borough councils, East Midlands Chamber, and through businesses participating in the grant programme.

The programme provides dedicated support to enterprises located in D2N2 Local Enterprise Partnership (LEP) area of Derby, Derbyshire, Nottingham and Nottinghamshire. It aims to support growing businesses to explore and introduce new and emerging ICT products and services into their business to improve competitiveness and productivity, driving economic growth. SMEs registered to the programme can access a range of support including attending free awareness-raising seminars, action-planning workshops, digital conferences (managed by the Chamber) and access to free digital business advice and grant funding opportunities.

2. About Rushcliffe Business Partnership

Rushcliffe Business Partnership is the home of a thriving local business scene with more than 500 individuals and organisations benefiting from membership.

The Partnership, launched in 1999, is a ‘not for profit’ organisation, part-funded by Rushcliffe Borough Council, based at the Rushcliffe Arena. It covers a south Nottinghamshire borough often rated as one of the most desirable places to live and work in the country, with West Bridgford as the major urban area.

Its key aims are to:

  • provide networks and relationships for business support, growth and opportunities (including linking into other organisations such as D2N2 - the local enterprise partnership)
  • champion Rushcliffe as a place to do business (including promoting to local residents)
  • increase trade for Rushcliffe from inside and outside the borough
  • provide a coherent voice for business in Rushcliffe

3. About the D2N2 LEP and European Regional Development Fund

The D2N2 LEP is a private sector-led partnership of business, local authorities, skills and training providers, and community and voluntary services promoting economic and jobs growth across Derby, Derbyshire, Nottingham and Nottinghamshire. Its eight key sectors include the ‘Creative and Digital Industries’ (more information at www.d2n2lep.org/key-sectors/creative-and-digital-industries)

The Digital Business Growth Programme received £3.6m, via the European Regional Development Fund portion of D2N2’s €250m in European Structural and Investment Funds (ESIF). The Ministry of Housing, Communities and Local Government is the managing authority for ERDF. Established by the European Union, ERDF funds help local areas stimulate economic development by investing in projects which support innovation, businesses, create jobs and local community regeneration. More information at www.gov.uk/european-growth-funding