Google is bringing the Google Digital Garage bus to various locations in and around Durham.

The bus will visit Stanley (July 5), and continue into Crook, Spennymoor, Chester-le-Street, Newton Aycliffe and Seaham throughout July.

The tour offers local people free advice and coaching on digital skills to help grow their business, career and confidence. These stops form part of a tour of 30 locations around the Tyne And Wear and North East region that the bus will be visiting over the summer.

The training courses offered at the Stanley stop, at the Hope Foundation, will include: how to build a digital marketing plan, building a social media strategy, and writing for social media. Free face-to-face coaching on a 1:1 basis will also be offered for people with any level of experience; from advice on taking the first steps online, to building your personal brand on the internet.

As a flagship investment programme for Google UK, in just three years the Google Digital Garage has trained over 300,000 people in over 500 UK locations. The Google Digital Garage bus is a mobile training hub with expert trainers and mentors on-board delivering free digital skills training which has contributed significantly to these figures. Google is partnering with local organisations, such as the Foundation of Light, Sunderland BID, Good Things Foundation and DWP to bring the bus to local communities and businesses.

The bus tour is part of a wider presence Google now has in the North East. In May 2019, Google opened a new digital skills training hub at The Bridges Shopping Centre in Sunderland as part of a major investment to help boost digital skills throughout the UK and the North East in particular.

In the North East, 50% of SMEs agree that the digital skills gap between the skills businesses need to compete in the digital economy and the talent available in the workforce is growing. Google’s free training sessions aim to close this skills gap and help grow the confidence, careers and  success of individuals and small business throughout the UK.

Ronan Harris, Managing Director, Google UK and Ireland, commented: “We’re thrilled to bring the Google Digital Garage and continue to offer free digital skills training to individuals and businesses in Durham. We firmly believe everyone should be able to benefit from the opportunities that technology brings and we want to give people the skills they need to grow their confidence, career or business.”

Business owner Nicola Sefton expanded her online Plus Size shoe-selling business Big Beautiful Feet following digital skills training at Google Digital Garage in Manchester. Sefton said: “Before attending the Google Digital Garage I felt slightly uncomfortable using technology and found social platforms intimidating. The courses gave me the confidence to embrace the Internet for all its worth – the Google team’s support has had a hugely positive impact on my shoe sales and put me well on the way to converting what was just a small idea into a successful business.”

The Google Digital Garage bus will be parked outside 39 Front Street, Stanley, DH9 0JE on Friday 5th July 2019, from 9am – 4.30pm. Visitors are invited to drop by for on-the-spot help. The bus will be touring in the region for a minimum of 2 months. For more information, visit: g.co/digitalgaragebus

As part of the wider Tyne And Wear and North East tour, the bus will be stopping in the following locations in and around Newcastle:

  • 6th July – Newton Aycliffe – DL5 4EH
  • 9th July – Chester-le-Street, Osborne Road, DH3 3DS
  • 16th July – Spennymoor Leisure Centre, Cambridge Street, DL16 6DF
  • 18th July – Crook Market Place, DL15 8NE
  • 19th July – Wellfield School,  North Road, Wingate TS28 5AX
  • 31st July – Seaham, Shelley Street, Seaham SR7 7JE