£4.5million scheme set up for installing latest technology at Cambs businesses


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Businesses across Cambridgeshire can get financial help towards installing the latest digital technology and broadband connections as part of a £4.5million scheme launched in Cambridge on Monday.

The Destination Digital project will give small and medium sized businesses grant funding and free advice to help make broadband connections more affordable and allow them to make the most of digital technology.

The fund, from Government and Europe, is worth up to £4,000 to an eligible business.

Huntingdon-based manufacturer Forward Composites is looking at getting funding to help back up its data, which it nearly lost in a fire in January when more than 40 firefighters tackled a blaze at its Clifton Road site, where about 80 people work.

The firm, which designs, engineers and manufactures composite tooling and components for the defence, aerospace, automotive, motorsports and renewables sectors, wants off-site back-up for data and customer services information.

IT manager Chris Caffyn said: “We were already looking at implementing an on-line back-up solution for our data and the fact that the fire could have spread to our servers reinforced the need for it. We are looking at using the Destination Digital scheme grant to help us expand our use of digital technology including hosted email and on-line data backup.

“As a newly formed company, it is very helpful to have this input.”

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The firm is also looking to improve the business’ fibre broadband connections through the scheme.

As well as giving businesses a 40 per cent discount voucher – worth up to £4000 – on investing in digital products and services, Destination Digital will also provide free tailored business support and workshops about digital technologies and applying for grants.

Cambridgeshire County Councillor Ian Bates, cabinet member for growth and planning, said: “Destination Digital is offering money and expert advice to help our businesses succeed in a digital world, which is a fantastic opportunity in the current economic climate.”

Communications Minister Ed Vaizey added: “We are witnessing a transformation of broadband in the UK which will be instrumental in driving our economic growth. These vouchers will save businesses in Cambridgeshire thousands of pounds, as well generating thousands more, and I strongly urge businesses to make the most of this offer to ensure they are properly equipped to compete in today’s digital age.”

INFORMATION: The scheme runs until March 2015 on a first-come, first-served basis. Find out more at www.destinationdigital.info or call 0800 917044.