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Digital skills training launches in Herefordshire

15 April 2022
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Businesses in Herefordshire are being given access to expert digital skills training and grants to improve their social media and increase sales, as part of the UK Government’s Community Recovery Fund. The programme is the first of its kind in the UK.

The UK Community Recovery Fund (UKCRF) scheme is designed to support businesses as they recover from the global COVID-19 pandemic, by providing a range of interventions aimed at increasing digital skills and capability.

Following a bid submission by Herefordshire Council, social media tech company Maybe were awarded UKCRF funding by the government and will be disbursing grants for social media promotion to qualifying Herefordshire businesses, to the total value of up to £250k.

Research reveals that only 23 per cent of businesses in Herefordshire are active on social media, meanwhile 40% of consumers in England say that they are spending more than three hours a day on social media.

The social media training, delivered by the team of experts at Maybe, includes everything from where to get started with social media to advanced strategies about how to use the Facebook ads networks to deliver winning sales tactics. 

Shaun Ward, Managing Director of Wardington’s Original, makers of Ludlow Gin explains: “We launched at Ludlow Festival, but started talking about everything we were doing about three months before on social media. We were drip feeding our story and getting people interested in what we were doing.

“I will never forget the moment that the gates opened at Ludlow and people ran to our store, because they had been following our story.

“On social media, it’s not just product, product, product - we like to bring people into our lives, the things that bring us joy - then you intermingle the product into that. Social media is all about being consistent and making sure when people are flicking through their feeds, that you’re in among that crowd.”

Cllr Ellie Chowns, Cabinet Member for Economy and Environment said, “We’re delighted that Herefordshire has received UKCRF funding to support digital skills training for local companies.  This will enable participating Herefordshire businesses to access new markets and customers, increasing their sales opportunities and profile. 

 “The training delivered by Maybe will help our local workforce develop the digital skills that are increasingly required in today’s modern economy.”

Polly Barnfield OBE, CEO of Maybe said, “It’s a privilege for Maybe* to be able to support the local business community in Herefordshire.  We are enjoying working with these local businesses to help them use social media to connect with customers and improve their ability to reach new markets.”

Nicky Godding is editor of The Business Magazine. Before her journalism career, she worked mainly in public relations moving into writing when she was invited to launch Retail Watch, a publication covering retail and real estate across Europe.

After some years of constant travelling, she tucked away her passport and concentrated on business writing, co-founding a successful regional business magazine. She has interviewed some of the UK’s most successful entrepreneurs who have built multi-million-pound businesses and reported on many science and technology firsts.

She reports on the region’s thriving business economy from start-ups, family businesses and multi-million-pound corporations, to the professionals that support their growth and the institutions that educate the next generation of business leaders.

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