Leeds City Region Enterprise Partnership (the LEP) has launched a new initiative to support digital businesses at Halifax Digital Festival this week.
The region is becoming an increasingly established digital community and with the imminent arrival of Channel 4’s national HQ, including a Digital Content Unit, the spotlight is on our region to excel in these areas and support businesses already working in this space.
The digital sector is worth £1 billion in turnover to the City Region economy and digital growth is forecast to increase 10% in the next five years, which is ten times the rate of the growth of other sectors. In support of this the LEP is launching the #Grow funding programme specifically for digital businesses operating within the region. The fund provides eligible businesses with a 50% contribution towards a capital expenditure project, up to a total of £50,000.
The support builds on the LEP’s digital inward investment fund, #welcome which supports digital businesses moving to the region, and now this initiative will support the growth of this sector further by championing those companies who are already based in the region.
Roger Marsh OBE, Chair of Leeds City Region Enterprise Partnership and NP11, and a member of The Piece Hall Trust, said: “When the LEP launched #welcome we wanted to encourage inward investment, however we also recognise we have a role to support existing businesses in order to optimise growth within the sector. We have so much talent already in Leeds City Region and we know that in supporting those businesses, they will create more jobs and offer training opportunities so we can retain that talent.”
Paramjit Uppal, Founder of AND Digital, commented on recently opening a new office in Halifax: “We decided to open an office (or as we call it, a ‘club’) in the heart of Halifax to meet demand and build on the growth of our existing Leeds club. This allows us to increase our contribution to the digital economy in West Yorkshire, and optimise our ability to help organisations accelerate the development of their digital capabilities. The funding and support from the LEP has been key to our continued success in the region.”
Sally Joynson, Chief Executive at Screen Yorkshire, said: “Recent achievements such as winning the Channel 4 bid have come about as a result of years of hard work and collaboration across the screen industries and the digital community has been a vital part of that success. Leeds City Region is home to some of the brightest digital talent in the UK and we are pleased to support this initiative that will support them to harness the growing opportunities for this sector.’’