Ambitions to make Greater Manchester the UK’s leading digital city are a step nearer as Andy Burnham appoints the leader of Rochdale Council as portfolio lead for Digital City Region.
Mayor Burnham has laid out his ambitions to harness the power of technology and spark a new digital revolution – firmly establishing the Greater Manchester region as the UK’s number one digital city.
Plans are underway for a digital summit in Greater Manchester to stake out the city region’s claim to be the UK’s tech leader. The July summit will set out a bold programme of skills and infrastructure development. It will bring together Greater Manchester’s tech trailblazers and local people to shape a vision for a genuinely smart city region where technology is used as a vital part of the solution to the biggest issues we face in society.
Mayor Andy Burnham said:
“I want Greater Manchester to be a digital city with a difference – one with a bold digital economy which actively encourages businesses to invest and grow, and also one where technology is used to deliver positive change, from connecting young people with opportunities, to tackling social problems such as homelessness. This bold vision places the needs of people firmly at the heart of technological innovation.
“We’re already ahead of the game on this. Right here in Greater Manchester we are on the digital frontier with some of the most cutting-edge tech firms in the world. This gives us a remarkable opportunity to take that expertise and innovation, and work with local people to create a smart digital future which has a unique Greater Manchester stamp.
“We want to fuse technological advancement with culture, ethics, communities and places to build a world which is connected, creative and cooperative, and a modern and prosperous Greater Manchester where no-one is left behind.
“I don’t want Greater Manchester to be just a smart city – I want it to be the smartest city.”
Chris Pimlott, founder of Stockport based My Buzz Technologies, is pleased with the digital focus:
“As a growing mobile app business, our apps (MyShiftPlanner and I Can’t Live Without My) are evolving rapidly so my business is at a critical point and needs the right kind of support. It’s very exciting to hear that Andy Burnham and his team have a keen focus on the Digital expertise within Manchester and I’m looking forward to finding out his full plans after the conference in July.”
To ensure the summit is industry-led, Andy has enlisted the support of digital leaders in Greater Manchester to help drive the plans forward, including:
- Sandy Lindsay MBE, Founder and Chair of leading communications consultancy Tangerine, and founder of The Juice Academy, the UK’s first industry-led social media apprenticeship programme
- Lawrence Jones MBE, Founder and CEO of UKFast, the largest privately-owned web hosting provider in the UK
- Katie Gallagher, Managing Director of Manchester Digital, the independent body created by Greater Manchester’s digital community to represent and champion it
- Kirsty Styles, Head of Talent and Skills at Tech North, a government-backed initiative charged with accelerating the growth of the digital business sector in the North of England.
The summit will be held on 6 July at the Museum of Science and Industry in Manchester.
You can register for the digital summit at https://digitalgm.eventbrite.co.uk
Read more at GMCA