Digital Growth Vouchers
REGISTRATIONS CURRENTLY CLOSED – RE-OPENING MAY 2021
Are you interested in accessing funding for a digital transformation project or to upgrade your broadband? Email DigitalEnterprise@Leeds.gov.uk and let us know your name, contact email and what support you would like to access (Digital Growth Voucher or Connectivity+ Voucher) and we will let you know when registrations re-open.
With digital technology playing an increasingly important role in helping businesses to grow – can you afford to miss out? Our Digital Growth Vouchers offer eligible firms help to fund their digital/IT investment.
Our vouchers will fund typically 50% of the cost of a project, however, there is the chance you could receive a higher level of funding depending upon the levels of digital transformation, business performance, productivity and innovation your project will achieve. The total project value must be between £4,000 – £25,000.
Our Digital Growth Voucher scheme is a competitive process where proposals are compared to each other to determine those that offer the biggest potential for business growth and digital maturity.
To be eligible for a Digital Growth Voucher, business must operate predominantly in a business to business (B2B) environment (at least 50%).
Our revised guidance for applicants and intermediaries is available to read – click the graphic opposite.
Eligible Investment projects for a Voucher
Digital Growth Vouchers are intended for the acquisition of I.T hardware, software purchases or upgrades to digital connectivity. Funding can only be used for the purchasing of equipment or software and not for the on-going revenue costs of leasing them.
When applying for a voucher it is important that applicants describe the purpose for which the acquired asset or investment will be used and how it will benefit business performance, since our funding is there to help to achieve ‘Additionality’ i.e. to add value. It cannot be used to merely replace old equipment or infrastructure, where no value is added to a firm’s performance, capability or capacity. Therefore, voucher applications which do not demonstrate how the investment will generate any economic growth or impact for the business will be rejected.
Examples of eligible hardware/software solutions for a voucher
- New laptops, desktops or tablet computers, VOIP telephony or networking devices e.g. routers and servers, etc.
- Enhanced digital connectivity – particularly when this leads to download speeds exceeding 30 mbps. However, the grant will only be able to cover the cost of the installation not any on-going revenue costs.
- The acquisition of new software to manage the business including a CRM or ERP. The grant can cover integration and consultancy costs too, but this is capped at 40% of the total project cost.
Example: A manufacturing business in Huddersfield is aiming to grow and achieve digital transformation by selling its products online through the commissioning of a new e-commerce website. All products made by firm will be available for customers to purchase.
The website has a total cost of £10,000 (excluding VAT) – which includes costs relating to its design, development and integration. The firm can apply for a Digital Growth voucher worth between £2,000 to £12,500. The business owner expects to see employment growth of 10% and turnover to increase by 20% over the next two years, as a result of this investment.
Registrations re-opening May 2021
The Digital Growth Voucher scheme opens in tranches throughout the year, with an allocated fixed amount of funding for vouchers allocated to each tranche.
Businesses can register their interest and are able to indicate which tranche of funding they would like to access (if they are eligible for a Digital Growth Voucher). This is particularly helpful for businesses who wish to access funding, but are looking to commence their project at a later date.
Funding windows are:
|1||Sept to Dec 2019||FULL|
|2||Feb to May 2020||FULL|
|3||Sept to Dec 2020||FULL|
|4||Feb to May 2021||AVAILABLE|
|5||Sept to Dec 2021||AVAILABLE|
|6||Feb to May 2022||AVAILABLE|
If you are interested in applying for a Digital Growth Voucher please follow the steps below:
- Visit the eligibility checker on our website to see if your business is eligible for Digital Enterprise assistance.
- If eligible complete the registration form on the Digital Enterprise website. Businesses are required to complete all sections of the registration form, with particular consideration to the impact of the funding/investment upon their business growth and development. (Please be aware our registration form is currently inaccessible and will re-open in May 2021).
- We will assess your registration for business eligibility and consider which form of support we can offer (Digital Growth Voucher, Connectivity Voucher or Digital Knowledge Exchange).
- If eligible we will confirm which strands of support we can offer you.
- If approved for a Digital Growth Voucher, we will contact you to learn more about your project to see if it is eligible for our support.
- Obtain three quotations for your digital transformation project costs (Three quotes are required per item). We understand that this can take some time to complete, leading to a delay in the issuing of a Digital Growth Voucher, as such, interested applicants may wish to start sourcing quotes at the earliest opportunity.
- If application approved we will send you a Funding Agreement.
- On receiving the returned Funding Agreement you can commission your suppliers.
- Once the work has been completed and proof of this is supplied via a claim form we will arrange payment to you.
Businesses receiving a Digital Growth Voucher are also able to take advantage of our other strands of support – our Connectivity+ Voucher and Digital Knowledge Exchange.