Digital Development Loans open to oil & gas SMEs

Launched in June 2018, the Digital Development Loan supports Scottish SMEs to improve their digital capabilities and upskill their staff. Loans are available from £5,000 to £50,000 and are open to companies across different sectors, including oil & gas.

The Digital Development Loan was created by the Scottish Government to provide interest-free loans to companies who wish to improve their digital capabilities and processes. The loan fund will consider any project that will deliver improved digital capacity, capability or skills.

The programme is managed by Lanarkshire Enterprises Ltd (LESL) and since its launch, hundreds of Scottish SMEs have enquired about the loan.

Huge productivity boost

One of the first companies to use the programme was Prater Contracts, a property maintenance company, which now has its own bespoke app, developed by Glasgow-based Lawlor Technologies. The app will help the company’s surveyors to identify and specify necessary work, allowing the recording online and offline to be quicker and more efficient. The company believes the app will boost its productivity by 70%.

Liz McCutcheon, Operations Manager, LESL, said: “The Digital Development Loan is a fantastic source of funding for Scottish SMEs to improve their digital capabilities and ensure staff are fully trained in the latest technologies.

“We know there is demand and a need from the business community when it comes to the use of digital and as demonstrated this is just as relevant to traditional businesses seeking better way of working, as it is to technology companies, so we would urge any business owner to get in touch and find out how the loan may help their venture.”

Minister encourages SMEs to apply

Kate Forbes, Minister for Public Finance and Digital Economy, said: “The Digital Development Loan was launched summer 2018 and has already proven to be popular, with almost £300,000 provided to assist SMEs in Scotland increase their digital capabilities and capacity as well as help upskill staff.

“With another £200,000 in the pipeline we are delighted, not only with the progress of the fund and its management by LESL, but also with the ambition shown by these companies to embrace digital in the workplace.

“I would personally invite any interested businesses to consider applying for the Digital Development Loan.”

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