Superfast Business Cornwall, which aims to boost competiveness through increased understanding and exploitation of digital technology, has announced funding for digital projects that develop new products and services and create jobs.
The service, which runs until March 2019 and is fully funded by the European Regional Development Fund, gives SMEs in Cornwall the opportunity to learn about the benefits of exploiting the latest digital technology in small group workshops with a business adviser.
This is followed by one to one bespoke support from an adviser to develop an action plan to help the business adopt technology in line with their business strategy. Support from private sector specialists is also available with a range of digital masterclasses and one to one advice.
Eligible businesses can also apply for funding of up to £25k. Grant investment is for new digital projects that enable or accelerate the development of a new product or service, give access to new markets, and create jobs.
The digital project must be enabled by superfast broadband. Grants can fund revenue elements of the project but not capital items or websites.
Businesses will need to be able to match fund 50% of the project and provide clear evidence of how the investment will lead to business growth and new jobs based in Cornwall or the Isles of Scilly.
One business already benefitting from the funding is ashortwalk, a Cornish eco-business which transforms household waste into reusable, modern homewares, signs and garden accessories.
The Perranporth-based firm received match funding for new online software to help customers design their own house signs, a move which is expected to grow sales, reduce manufacturing waste and save time.
Owner Dan Dicker, who left his job as a product designer for global technology giant Dyson to set up his business in 2003, said: “We wouldn’t have been able to get to this point without the support of Superfast Business Cornwall, and with our new digital focus there are real growth opportunities for the future. We are already looking to take on two new members of staff.”