We have a winner! Duco Digital moves to new offices

 Matt Dowling, Darren Winter from Duco Digital with Sarah Thorpe from UK Steel Enterprise

Q Magazines joined up with UK Steel Enterprise to give Darren and Matt room to grow

A young digital media marketing company has won the competition run by UK Steel Enterprise, the Tata Steel business-support subsidiary, and The Gazette to have their first office free for a year.

Duco Digital fought off competition from a range of fledgling businesses across Tees Valley and scooped the prize of free accommodation in UK Steel Enterprise’s Innovation Centre on the Kirkleatham Business Park at Redcar.

Darren Winter and Matt Dowling live in Redcar and started Duco Digital in October last year. The company provides affordable and expert digital marketing services, from website design, branding and logos to social media marketing and training workshops, for businesses from all sectors.

“We saw the competition in the Gazette’s Q1 magazine and never expected to win but decided we had absolutely nothing to lose by entering,” said Darren. “We know there are many exciting new businesses in the area so were amazed when we got the call to say we had won.”

Duco Digital has already secured its first international client – a Philippines-based company looking to launch children’s clothing and sportswear in the UK – and plans are in hand to start working with the DTI on securing other international projects.

On Teesside the company is helping numerous clients with their marketing strategies. A redesigned website for Coast & Moors Nordic Walking includes a facility for booking classes online and, further afield, an insurance company in Telford with a £1m plus turnover is being advised on using social media to boost business.

“The business had started up around our full-time jobs and was still home-based but we really needed office space and moved in just as fast as we could,” said Darren.

“We will be taking on an apprentice this year, so being in a professional office environment with the facilities and support from the UK Steel Enterprise team is fantastic.”

A pioneer in the provision of managed business premises, UK Steel Enterprise provides affordable office and workshop space in purpose-built centres. Tenants enjoy a manned visitor reception area, attractive grounds, high speed broadband, 24 hour access, ample free parking for visiting clients and even a gym and relaxation room.

Duco Digital is already planning to use the well-equipped meeting rooms to provide a range of workshops for local businesses, including free taster sessions.

“Not only does this win help us to expand and start to create jobs but it also means we can help other businesses to become more digitally aware and competitive and contribute to growing the economy too,” said Darren.

“We get real satisfaction from helping companies create a marketing strategy that works and training for businesses is an area where we see real potential for growth.”

With wide experience in senior management in the retail and leisure sectors and a degree in computing from Teesside University Darren also studied part-time to gain an MA in Cross Cultural Communication and International Marketing at Newcastle University where the original idea for Duco Digital was born.

“Winning the competition and knowing that the judges had confidence in us is a real boost,” said Darren. “We are now part of a friendly business community and can concentrate all our time on growing the business without worries about premises.”

Duco Digital was selected by judges UK Steel Enterprise Managing Director Simon Hamilton, Area Manager Sarah Thorpe and Q1 editor Mike Hughes .

“We know that the young, growing businesses really benefit from the environment, facilities and support we provide at our Innovation Centres in Redcar and Hartlepool,” said Sarah. “Many of our tenants have expanded here then moved into their own premises and are successfully competing in global markets and creating valuable jobs. We were looking for a business with the potential and commitment to grow and make a real contribution to the local economy. Duco Digital already has its first international client, plans to take on an apprentice and is helping other local businesses to grow too. We are very pleased to have had the opportunity to work alongside The Gazette and Q1 and to see that the competition has helped a business with real potential.”

Details of UK Steel Enterprise’s investment packages and business premises at www.uksteelenterprise.co.uk .

Darren WinterComment