More than 100 businesses and charities attended a special workshop in the county aimed at helping them flourish in a digital future.

Northumberland’s first Digital Knowhow workshop, opened by local Member of Parliament, Anne-Marie Trevelyan was hosted by Lloyds Banking Group and supported by iNorthumberland and Business Northumberland.

The event, held at Alnwick Garden, featured a workshop delivered by a Google trainer, aimed at small businesses and charities keen to gain the skills needed to help expand their business digitally.

The Google workshop focused on how to create a digital marketing plan, gain social media skills and follow cyber security advice.

The council’s ambition is to make Northumberland a place that attracts new business, helps enterprise flourish and gives everyone the opportunity to make the most of the latest technology.

iNorthumberland, a programme delivered by Northumberland County Council, is rolling out superfast broadband across the whole county. Currently, Over 93% of properties in Northumberland can now access superfast broadband using Openreach’s fibre network.

Councillor Nick Oliver, Cabinet Member for corporate services said: “This event was a fantastic opportunity for Northumberland businesses and we’re delighted with the turn out. As a council, we are passionate about supporting small businesses and organisations to help them grow and succeed. We encourage local businesses to get the most out of the superfast broadband on offer and increase their online presence.”

Lloyd’s 2017 UK Business Digital Index, reported that 41% of small businesses and 52% of charities in the region lack basic digital skills, however, those with digital skills were twice as likely to see an increase in turnover than those without.

Nick Williams, Lloyds Banking Group regional ambassador for the North, said: “Good digital skills are a hugely powerful tool for businesses and can make a real difference as firms look to invest, innovate and grow. As part of our plan to help Britain prosper, we’re committed to supporting businesses of all sizes on their digital journey and are working with the public and private sector across Northumberland to arm companies with the digital skills they need to thrive.”

Digital skills are becoming increasingly vital in order for local businesses to grow and promote their services.

The Businesses Northumberland programme supports local businesses with a range of skills, including digital, offering them expert business support and guidance.

Lucy Cansfield, Business Northumberland Programme Manager said, “It is a testament to the strength of the business community in Northumberland that we have seen such a great turn out for this event. There is a huge amount of support available for local businesses and it’s important to us that we all continue to collaborate to ensure that business owners receive the best possible level of support. We are looking forward to continuing to support these businesses with developing their digital marketing and social media.”