Google to shut up ‘pilot’ Leeds project

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Google Digital Garage in Leeds is set to close at the end of this month.

The multi-million pound initiative, designed to help small British businesses learn digital skills, was launched at Leeds Dock in March.

The search giant said every week, the Garage has been visited by almost 100 local business and aspiring entrepreneurs.

Eileen Naughton, Google’s managing director for UK and Ireland, said: “It has been great to see how our first Digital Garage was able to punch above its weight in Leeds, not only getting great uptake by local businesses and teachers but also making an impact on the Leeds Docks area and the local economy.

At the launch of the intiative in March, the Silicon Valley firm said it had no immediate plans for a permanent presence in Yorkshire – it has an office in Manchester and calls on Capita staff in Leeds. The initiative is designed to help businesses reach more customers online.

The six-month pilot consisted of ‘master-classes’ on the smart use of technology for local businesses based on Google’s expertise.