Property company builds its online presence with free business support

NEWCASTLE firm WDL Property Services specialises in building projects large and small – and now it’s building its own business with help from Go Digital Newcastle.

The company, based on Redburn Industrial Estate in Westerhope, has been taking advantage of the free support sessions offered by the project to businesses in the city.

The free sessions - worth up to £1,000 if they needed to be paid for - include one-to-one help from an expert adviser. Training sessions range from marketing to social media and website skills, as well as business development events.

And WDL office manager Karen Carpenter says the advice has been a big help already.

“We received free business advice from one of the business advisers on what we wanted to get out of the Go Digital seminars and events,” she said.

“They also passed us on to several other contacts that have helped with the tendering processes for work with local councils etc.

“We also attended several digital marketing masterclasses including managing social media and managing the company website.

“We now know how to plan posts for social media and understand more about the way social media and the internet can help a business.”

WDL provides building and property maintenance service to the commercial and domestic market in the North East, North Yorkshire and Cumbria.

The company is now planning to create a blog on the company website, wdlpropertyservices.co.uk.

The Go Digital Newcastle initiative is being run by Newcastle City Council with the help of government funding.

Eligible small and medium-sized businesses, charities and social enterprises in Newcastle, North Tyneside and Gateshead can apply to Go Digital Newcastle for a connection voucher worth up to £3,000 to get connected to superfast broadband. The businesses choose their own supplier, and pay the on-going charges and any VAT.

Go Digital Newcastle’s business support programme - used by WDL and funded by ERDF - aims to help businesses take full advantage of the internet.

Eligible companies can also apply for up to £2,000 in funding for related IT equipment.

Cllr Michael Johnson, Newcastle City Council Deputy Cabinet Member for Skills, Business and Enterprise, said: “It’s now widely recognised that superfast broadband can make a huge difference to companies, allowing them to reach their customers more easily, promote their products and services and cut their costs with more efficient working.

“We want as many companies and organisations as possible to apply for the free help available as part of Go Digital Newcastle – a scheme which is helping local companies boost their business using the internet and, as a result, those companies will help boost the regional economy.”

Karen said: “I would absolutely recommend the masterclasses. They break everything down into bitesize chunks and makes online marketing and social media much less scary.

“Everything that’s included and taught on the workshops can be made relevant to any company and the resources used and the speakers are top class.”