Some Of Team Umi

Some of UMi's team.

UMi has won the contract to deliver a 33-month extension to the highly successful Digital Drive County Durham programme on behalf of Business Durham, seeing business owners supported with how to embrace digital adoption until June 2023.

UMi has been delivering Digital Drive County Durham since its launch in January 2018. So far, over 1,100 companies have registered on the programme. Business owners benefit from a range of services including grants, specialist advice, digital audits, workshops, events and webinars.

“The support we got from Digital Drive was absolutely fantastic. We would not hesitate to recommend others to Digital Drive”, said John Spence, Managing Director of Metal Fabrication Systems.

During the programme, 363 companies have so far benefited from over 12 hours’ support each to help their businesses harness digital technologies to help them go further. Over £1m in grants has been invested in removing barriers and accelerating digital adoption on projects including equipment for remote working, kit to create digital content and help businesses access new income streams, systems to digitise and streamline processes, website updates to provide e-commerce functionality, and much more.

The programme has helped the local and national economy and is predicted to create over 180 jobs in the region.

Nicki Clark, Chief Executive of UMi, said: “We are delighted to have been entrusted with continuing to deliver the Digital Drive County Durham programme on behalf of Business Durham. It is a real testament to our team’s hard work.

“UMi is powered by a formidable network of partnerships across the public and private sector, businesses large and small, and individuals with specialisms that make a real difference. It’s our ability to combine our own talents with those in our broader network that makes us an ideal partner to engage and energise businesses across County Durham, proactively proposing solutions, helping them remove practical and financial barriers to adopting technology solutions, embedding a culture of digital adoption as an enabler to business growth.

“For over 13 years we have specialised in making it easier for individuals in over 400,000 businesses to do more and go further as a result. Doing more could be finding more customers, securing the right finance, creating more economic growth, attracting the best talent; whatever they need to achieve their ambitions. As a national business with offices based in County Durham winning this is real icing on the cake – the team get a real buzz out of making a difference, through the businesses they help in the communities where they live and work.”

Sarah Slaven, Interim Managing Director at Business Durham, said: “UMi has done a great job of delivering the Digital Drive programme since its launch, so we are delighted to have appointed them as our delivery partner for the next phase of the programme.  With headquarters in Seaham, UMi understand the business base in the county.  We look forward to continuing to work with UMi as our trusted delivery partner.

Digital Drive County Durham is a programme being delivered on behalf of Business Durham, the economic development arm for Durham County Council, to help small businesses make the most of digital technology. The project can help businesses access grant funding support of up to 40% towards the cost of:

  • Digital consultancy projects
  • Equipment that will help to improve your business through the use of digital technology
  • Website, app or software build
  • Broadband infrastructure and installation

In addition, the programme offers webinars and events in a range of digital topics with the support of advisors to make the most of the digital opportunities available to business.

Digital Drive County Durham is funded by the European Regional Development Fund, Business Durham, which works on behalf of Durham County Council and private investment and forms part of the wider Digital Durham initiative to transform broadband speeds for residents and businesses across the North East.

For more information visit: www.digitaldrivedurham.co.uk

Neina Sheldon
Article by Neina Sheldon
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