Google’s first Digital Garage in Leeds Dock

Launching Google's First Digital Garage here in Leeds

It’s really important small businesses here in West Yorkshire can compete in the digital age. Already in Morley we have free WiFi for local businesses – thanks to O2. So it is fantastic to see a project like The Digital Garage from Google bringing digital skills to small businesses across our region.

Google has long been committed to getting British businesses online. They’ve already invested in programmes such as their Juice Bars to help 250,000 UK small businesses become digital businesses. So it’s great that they’re taking that further and have chosen West Yorkshire as the Launchpad for the next stage of their investment in UK businesses. Google Digital Garages will provide digital skills training for 200,000 small businesses by 2016. And best of all, the first of their Digital Garages is right here in West Yorkshire in Leeds Dock.

The Leeds Digital Garage is a multi-million pound programme that will provide digital skills training to 200,000 SMEs both online and in person at pop-up training venues across the UK. They will be places where local people can learn how to use the Internet to reach beyond traditional markets and find new customers and opportunities.

All the evidence shows that businesses with a strong online presence grow faster and generate new jobs more quickly. So this programme is not only good for local businesses individually but will also be a real benefit for the local and regional economy.

Small businesses are the lifeblood of our economy. But many have had a tough time of it in recent years and that what we need to do more to support them which is why I’ve said I would instead cut business rates to benefit small firms.

For now Google say they will be in Leeds for at least 6 months but I’d like them to stay for longer. And if local businesses really take advantage and use the facilities and training on offer, then I’m sure can build a good local campaign.

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Posted March 16th, 2015 by Ed's team