The Teesside University-led initiative, DigitalCity, has helped a number of local, traditional businesses in the Tees region to digitise through the pandemic with its consultancy panel of expertise.
Through fully funded, two to five-day assist programmes, consultant experts work with the DigitalCity team to help local businesses find the most appropriate digital solutions that support their development and long-term goals, and ultimately facilitate business growth.
Stockton-based software design and development company Sapere is part of the consultancy panel having been appointed through a tender process.
Sapere work closely with Tees Valley-based businesses to gain a thorough understanding of their challenges before creating an in-depth report. Reoccurring problems include inefficient software, a lack of integration and time-consuming processes.
The bespoke report details pragmatic digital options and solutions that are completely tailored to the business, along with estimated timescales, costs, and other considerations.
SMEs from varying industries such as oil and gas, heavy engineering, pharmaceutical, sports, safety, and servicing have benefitted from this digital support.
There’s also been a noticeable uptake more recently from those in the leisure and hospitality industry, due to the impact of Covid-19.
The not-for-profit organisation, Tees Music Alliance (TMA) is just one example that has utilised the DigitalCity initiative and technical expertise of Sapere during the UK lockdown.
With Covid-19 restrictions forcing TMA to cancel all live events, which provide its main source of income, the team was looking for a cost-effective way to share concerts safely and be easily accessible to local promoters.
Through DigitalCity’s assist programme, Sapere worked with TMA to look at possible software solutions, and after being signposted to local funding opportunities was able to develop a new system within a matter of weeks.
This has enabled the organisation to stream live music to paying customers using an innovative streaming camera.
The bespoke system also has integrated elements that simplify the overall booking and payment process. As well as the ability to reach national and international audiences, generating additional revenue for local events now and in the future.
Sapere operations manager Paul Drake (pictured above) said: “The fully funded programme delivered by DigitalCity really is excellent. It provides businesses like TMA with the opportunity to work with digital experts to help define a solution to a business challenge.
“Without the support this might not have been achievable. I’d recommend any business in the Tees Valley to reach out to DigitalCity to see how they can help your business grow.”
Martin Green, digital sector growth manager at DigitalCity, said: “We are determined to help businesses in the region to bounce back from the impacts of the pandemic.
“By working with industry experts like Sapere, we are able to support several organisations in similar positions to Tees Music Alliance and build their resilience for future adversity.”
To find out how DigitalCity can help your business, please visit: www.thedigitalcity.com.
• DigitalCity is receiving is just under £2m of funding from the England European Regional Development Fund as part of the European Structural and Investment Funds Growth Programme 2019-2023. For more information visit: https://www.gov.uk/european-growth-funding.