Kent County Council is launching a new voucher scheme to enable local businesses to put a new digital or technology solution in place to help with future growth.
The Technology Resilience Voucher Scheme is part of the C-Care (Covid Channel Area Response Exchange) project which is funded by the EU Interreg France (Channel) England programme.
C-Care represents a total of €6.7million (Euros) package of covid-recovery support from the European Regional Development Fund. The overall project aims to support businesses and individuals at risk of exclusion on both sides of the Channel. In Kent the focus on business support and this new scheme is the first to launch as a way to help businesses bounce back and become more resilient.
Successful applicant businesses will be able to redeem a voucher worth up to £1,000 for services in the following areas:
- Web-based activities.
- Remote working technologies.
- Software solutions & Apps.
- Digital marketing & promotional activities.
- Digital skills & capacity building.
- Equipment & small Investments to facilitate digital activity.
Services will be provided to Kent businesses by a framework of approved digital service providers which is also benefiting a number of digital and creative firms across the county.
Derek Murphy, KCC’s Cabinet Member for Economic Development, said: “During the pandemic, businesses realised the importance of making the best use digital technology to connect to customers and deliver services in new ways. This new voucher scheme will help local firms to adopt these solutions to help with new ways of working and future growth.”
KCC has also commissioned a number of specialist digital business advisors who will also be available to support Kent businesses interested in applying for a voucher. These advisors will offer expert advice, guidance and recommendations to Kent-based businesses to help them in targeting activity within their application form to ensure that the vouchers have the maximum impact for the successful applicant SMEs and for the wider Kent economy.
The scheme is targeted at Kent businesses which have been impacted by the pandemic and which can demonstrate how adopting new digital solutions will help them recover and grow.
Applications from business in sectors such as leisure, food and drink, and manufacturing would be particularly welcome.
The voucher scheme will launch on 22 November and will run for up to nine months or until the voucher budget has been fully allocated. Certain eligibility criteria apply, and companies can obtain more information by visiting https://www.kent.gov.uk/business/business-loans-and-funding/technology-resilience-vouchers where they can apply and request an initial consultation with a digital advisor.
C-Care is being delivered by the following organisations: Kent County Council, New Anglia Local Enterprise Partnership, Norfolk County Council, Plymouth City Council, Conseil Départemental du Finistère, Pas-de-Calais Tourisme and the ‘Campus d’Enseignement Supérieure et de Formation Professionnelle’ in Normandy.
About the Interreg FCE program:
Interreg France (Channel) England is an EU programme set up to foster economic development in the south and east of the UK and north of France by funding innovative projects which have a sustainable and economic benefit.
It focuses on a range of specific objectives including supporting innovation, improving the attractiveness of the Channel area and developing low carbon technologies.
The programme has reached its funding commitment target and as of March 2021, €217.5 million (Euros) have been committed to 51 projects, involving 420 project partners from public institutions to SMEs and regional authorities. The projects focus on different sectors of the economy ranging from agri-food sector to med-tech and tourism.
More information: www.channelmanche.com