The North East’s rapidly growing digital scene is to come under the spotlight again with an event in Newcastle aimed at highlighting the free help available to businesses looking to make the most of superfast broadband.
Go Digital Newcastle’s Superfast Summit, featuring a keynote speech from fashion designer Wayne Hemingway, is to be held at Centre for Life on July 3, and will bring together commercial landlords, internet suppliers, companies, charities and voluntary organisations.
Offering increased reliability, superfast broadband enables businesses to reach more customers, promote their products and services and cut costs with more efficient working.
To help get companies connected, Go Digital Newcastle is offering free connection vouchers worth up to £3,000 as well as free business support for firm in Newcastle, North Tyneside and Gateshead.
Internet suppliers exhibiting at the event will be able to provide quotes to those keen to take advantage of the offer.
The campaign, which aims to help businesses to work smarter and take a bigger share of their markets, is supported by the North East Chamber of Commerce, whose head of member relations Jonathan Walker said: “I would encourage all businesses to get involved and take advantage of the free support available.”
Go Digital Newcastle Business Support is being jointly funded by Newcastle City Council - which intends to bring superfast broadband to 97% of the city by 2015 - and the European Regional Development Fund Programme.
The initiative will directly assist 700 SMEs by providing one-to-one support to identify and apply the benefits of increased broadband capability.
The campaign comes in the midst of increasing recognition that the North East’s tech and digital scenes are growing at a rapid pace.
Recently, Newcastle’s Dynamo 14 conference, organised by some of the region’s major players in IT, helped showcase the wealth of expertise here.
At the forthcoming summit, Wayne Hemingway MBE - co-founder of the Red or Dead label and of multi-disciplinary designers HemingwayDesign - will be looking at how the digital arena has opened up a world of opportunities for companies, and how he and his wife Gerardine have used those opportunities to grow many strands of their businesses.
Councillor Ged Bell, cabinet member for investment and development at Newcastle City Council, said: “There’s never been a better opportunity for local companies, commercial landlords and charities to take advantage of free funding and practical help to reach more people.
“Go Digital Newcastle has the potential to boost the city’s economy by £150m, but only if organisations take advantage of the connection vouchers and make use of the business support that’s available.”
Those attending the Superfast Summit will also hear from companies that have already benefited from Go Digital Newcastle, along with charities and voluntary organisations that are using the internet to reach more people and boost fundraising.
Anyone wish to attend is invited to register via www.godigitalnewcastle.co.uk
To find out more about the business support being provided by Go Digital Newcastle, call 0845 144 0041 or email firstname.lastname@example.org