Case study

Funding increases capacity and sustainability at digital marketing agency

Bakewell-based digital marketing agency, Destination Digital, received funding and support from the Derbyshire Accelerator scheme. This enabled the firm to take on an extra member of staff and improve its sustainability.

About Destination Digital

Destination Digital is a small team of digital marketers, who offer the full range of digital marketing services to clients based across the UK and beyond, into Europe and North America.

These include well-known national brands such as Faith in Nature, Mr Fothergill's Seeds, and HECK sausages, as well as local businesses such as Derby-based Kit Change, which produces 'anti-fast fashion' clothing made from recycled polyester.

Why the firm wanted support

Like many small business owners, Managing Director Debbie Porter was struggling to find time to work on the strategic aspects of her business, because of the demands of the everyday:

"I needed to be able to step back and build a team around me that could take over the delivery parts of our business, so that I could focus on growing have a tipping point where you need more help but then you can’t really afford it because of the setup costs."

She first heard about the Derbyshire Accelerator scheme during a webinar with East Midlands Chamber, and quickly saw its potential to help her recruit another person to the team.

In addition, she was also aware that many of the brands they work with had a sustainability focus. "Consumers are increasingly demanding much more of brands in terms of sustainability," says Debbie. "So, it's been very much a part of our professional lives for many years as we steer our clients through this journey. As a supplier into these businesses, we thought that this notion of doing business that is sustainable, ethical and environmentally sympathetic, should apply to us too." 

The support received

Destination Digital received a grant to subsidise the costs of taking on a junior member of staff, including equipment, software and wages. 

The firm also took a subsidised subscription to Zellar, a one-stop online platform that guides UK small businesses on their sustainability journeys, and accelerates their progress towards Net Zero and beyond.

In addition to the support provided through Derbyshire Accelerator, Destination Digital has also benefitted from two subsidised University of Derby interns, who have both worked within the company as digital marketers. They carried out a broad range of digital marketing activities like content writing, social media management and creation of artwork for use in digital campaigns. The interns have proved so valuable that Debbie's offered the latest student a part-time job.

Head and shoulders shot of Debbie Porter, MD of Destination Digital

That's been the major impact — just to free-up more of mine and my team’s time, and give somebody else a job in the local community.

Debbie Porter
Managing Director, Destination Digital

The impact it had

The funding from Derbyshire Accelerator made it possible for Debbie to take on a new person and increase the team's capacity. She says, "that's been the major impact — just to free-up more of mine and my team’s time, and give somebody else a job in the local community."

On top of that, Zellar has helped the company see how they are doing in terms of sustainability, and where they can improve. Debbie explains: "The platform shows you a running score, which is helpful to see how initiatives we undertake contribute to doing business more sustainably." For example, Zellar has already motivated the team to:

Debbie encourages other small businesses to take advantage of funding and business growth programmes like Derbyshire Accelerator: "Just get in touch and have a conversation...if you don't ask, you don't get, so you may as well just step forward and see what happens."

She plans to continue using funded support like this: "Hopefully under schemes like the Help to Grow scheme, I can get some more assistance from the University of Derby and East Midlands Chamber as well."

Watch an interview with Debbie

Head and shoulders shot of Debbie Porter from Destination Digital

View How Destination Digital benefitted from Derbyshire Accelerator video transcript

About Derbyshire Accelerator

Derbyshire Accelerator was one strand of the East Midlands Accelerator Programme. East Midlands Chamber led the programme, with other partners in Derbyshire including our University, Derbyshire County Council, Marketing Peak District & Derbyshire and The Food and Drink Forum. The project was part-funded by the UK Government through the UK Community Renewal Fund.

Derbyshire Accelerator has now closed but you can explore our other funded support programmes for businesses.