In November 2014, Enterprise M3 secured £86,000 from BIS to rollout the Digital High Street Skills Programme run by the Association of Town & City Management (ATCM) across the Enterprise M3 area.
The Digital High Street Skills Programme is a tailor-made suite of training designed to help small independent retailers develop or establish their online retail presence. This innovative programme is designed to equip businesses with the confidence, skills and tools they need to take full advantage of online opportunities.
In February and March 2015 ATCM delivered 42 “Digital High Street Skills” workshops consisting of three modules across 13 locations in the Enterprise M3 area, including Basingstoke, Farnborough, Guildford and Staines-upon-Thames as well as a number of rural and market towns. These workshops were attended by 212 unique organisations, 85% of which were private sector businesses.
Customer feedback to the programme has been very positive. One attendee has said that “It has helped us to shore up our social media knowledge, and to be able to analyse the effectiveness of our website, as well as create a formal marketing plan and identify our key customers” while another said “Gave me lots of ideas about how to best use social media, change the content of my website and attract more clients”. Xav Anderson, ATCM Commercial Relationships Manager, said “We are delighted with the success of the Digital High Street Skills Programme in the Enterprise M3 area. Working with the LEP and local councils meant we were really able to focus on small and medium-sized businesses that were keen to improve their digital skills, and then help them to make use of these skills that will enable them to not just reach their full potential, but to also contribute even more to the economic and social success of their local area.”