Date: 18th September 2017
The Digital Growth Voucher scheme.
Phase 1 of the Digital Growth Voucher scheme was very popular, attracting over 470 voucher applications from businesses. Due to the volume of applications received, the phase was closed early, at the end of March 2017 (running for 8 weeks).
The second phase of the scheme will be launched on the 28th of September, 2017 and will close on the 8th of December, 2017. However, we reserve the right to close Phase 2 earlier, if necessary, due to the volume of applications received.
Also, Phase 2 will have a fixed amount of funding for vouchers allocated to it, which means that we will be able to offer between 150 to 220 vouchers (depending upon the value of voucher applications received).
Key changes to the scheme in Phase 2
- Phase 2 will be a competitive process (rather than a first come first served) – where applications are compared to each other and ranked according to;
- The potential for digital transformation of the business resulting from their investment project – see below for more details on this.
- The potential economic impact in terms of creating good quality and sustainable jobs for the business.
- Business performance improvements likely to result from the investment, including increased productivity and scale-ability of the business.
- A fixed amount of funding will be allocated to Phase 2. Once this is committed to voucher applications/investment projects Phase 2 will close.
- The Voucher funding proportion of a project to rise to 50% of the value of an investment project – up to a maximum of £5000. In Phase 1 we limited the amount of funding offered to 40% of the value of a project.
- Priority will be given to businesses with at least 2 employees, that are 12 months and older. This is due to a number of factors, including;
- To help promote our new Digital Knowledge Exchange service to younger firms.
- To support more established businesses in Phase 2, compared to Phase 1.
- To help younger businesses make use of other business support schemes focused on new firms e.g. the Ad-Venture business support scheme – ad-venture.org.uk
- Only 100% B2B (Business to business) businesses eligible for voucher funding in Phase 2 – as our DKEs scheme can assist B2C businesses.
Digital transformation is defined, for the purposes of this scheme, as a change in business processes resulting from an introduction of digital technology.
- A manufacturing business investing in a new digital printer to rapidly bar code all manufactured items, which will allow it update its online inventory and improve efficiency in the production process.
- A logistics business investing in a new smart technology for its vehicles, which provides real time intelligence on the location of delivery vehicles for clients, to provide more accurate information about delivery timescales.
- A distribution business investing in a new fully e-commerce enabled website, which links through to its stock control/inventory system, allowing the firm to increase its customer base and offer a seamless user experience.
A revised Guidance Note will be available from the Digital Growth Vouchers page shortly.