Business Productivity & Digitisation Grant Launched

The grant will support businesses in Doncaster to improve their productivity and digital innovation

The Business Productivity and Digitisation Grant Project is a £9.3m project which is delivered across South Yorkshire and is supported and part funded by the South Yorkshire Mayoral Combined Authority (SYMCA) and has attracted £5.2m of investment through the UK Shared Prosperity Fund (UKSPF). The UK Shared Prosperity Fund is a central pillar of the UK government’s Levelling Up agenda. The Fund aims to improve pride in place and increase life chances across the UK investing in communities and place, supporting local business, and people and skills. For more information, visit https://www.gov.uk/government/publications/uk-shared-prosperity-fund-prospectus

The project brings together the four South Yorkshire Local Authorities and the South Yorkshire Mayoral Combined Authority (SYMCA) who will work in collaboration to support Small to Medium Sized businesses (SMEs) to identify and address their business productivity challenges.

 

The Aim of the Project

To support businesses in South Yorkshire to improve their productivity and digital innovation through the provision of capital or revenue grant, and to improve how they measure and report productivity gains.

The project will provide up to 50% grant funding for investments. The maximum amount of UKSPF grant that can be awarded per business is £12,499. The balance of the investment must be provided by you, the applicant.

Whilst the project is initially looking to safeguard businesses and jobs, priority will be given to those applicants that can best demonstrate how the investments will have a positive impact on productivity and the creation of potential new employment opportunities in South Yorkshire.  

How Will the Project Work?

A Key Account Manager / Specialist Business Advisor from Business Doncaster will work with you to review your business needs and support you in applying for the grant.

The project will run as a competition with an Open Call inviting businesses to apply for grants of between £2,500 to £12,499 to support capital or revenue investment projects that will lead to clearly evidenced productivity improvements.

Businesses must have been trading for more than 12 months to apply for grants over £5,000. Grants are available towards both revenue (specialist business support) or capital investment (machinery, equipment and the fit-out of premises*)

The call will remain open until the funding has been allocated.

 

Projects

Productivity and digitisation projects will differ from sector to sector and business to business. Below are several examples of the types of projects that could be supported. If you are unsure if your project would be suitable for this project, please contact Business Doncaster who will be able to provide clarification.  

Productivity Projects

  • An engineering company accessing specialist Productivity and Industrial Engineering consultancy support to increase production and the growth in demand of a finished and packaged product. Working in partnership with management and operators, a team of Consultants will identify a number of ‘quick wins’ which would increase production, reduce downtime and lost capacity.
  • A manufacturing business that has undertaken a quality management programme to improve product quality, to meet new supply chain standards. The programme highlighted a need to invest in new production equipment to improve product quality and to reduce waste.
  • A business and professional services business creating an open and communicative environment, by centrally locating the performance appraisal information within a formal online framework, managers can more easily communicate business strategy and create measurable goals for their employees that will support overall company objectives.

Digitisation Projects

  • A manufacturing business investing in a new digital printer to rapidly bar code all manufactured items, which will allow it to update its online inventory and improve efficiency in the production process.
  • A business investing in a new smart technology for its vehicles, which provides real time intelligence on the location of delivery vehicles for clients and more accurate information about delivery timescales.
  • A business investing in a new fully e-commerce enabled website, which links through to its stock control/inventory system, allowing the firm to increase its customer base and offer a seamless user experience.

Eligible Expenditure

Grants will be offered to help fund solutions for SMEs that will provide significant business benefit and growth. This may include, but is not limited to:

  • Client Relationship Management systems
  • Cloud solutions
  • New software development
  • Remote monitoring and working solutions
  • Collaboration technologies
  • Large data transfer solutions
  • Live high-quality video streaming
  • Voice over Internet Protocol (VoIP)
  • New laptops, desktops or tablet computers and other peripheral devices, e.g. printers.
  • Development of apps
  • E-commerce solutions.
  • Integration and consultancy costs
  • Manufacturing / production equipment and or tooling (machinery, sensors, robotics)
  • Fit out of premises*(mezzanine floors /ventilation/ ducting, specialist racking etc)
  • Moulds, final designs, testing for final products ahead of mass manufacturing

Ineligible Expenditure

Below is a list of excluded costs, this isn’t an exhaustive list and the Programme Management Team have the discretion to omit costs if they deem them ineligible and/or not within the scope of the project.

  • Any retrospective costs incurred prior to the issuing of a grant funding agreement.
  • Reimbursement of goods/services already purchased prior to the date of a grant offer letter
  • Repayment of existing loans or debts
  • Recurring revenue costs (salaries, pensions, stock, rent, utility charges, service charges subscriptions, insurance, tax, recruitment fees, website hosting, equipment hire etc.)
  • Line rental and on-going maintenance costs associated with implementing a broadband product
  • Repairs and maintenance to existing technology, manufacturing equipment or premises
  • Like-for-like replacement of existing items
  • Accredited training
  • Licenses or subscriptions for services which would extend beyond the end of the project (currently March 2025)
  • Marketing costs
  • Any items where the applicant already has, or intends to get national funding
  • Extension to premises (replacing fronts, installing a new roof, window or, doors, rendering, stone/brick cleaning etc)

 

How Do I Apply?

To apply, you must contact your Local Authority. This is defined by where you pay your business rates.

The contact details for Doncaster are:

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