£2m Fund To Make ‘Manchester UK’s Greatest Digital City’

The Mayor of Greater Manchester Andy Burnham addressed hundreds of people at the Digital Summit in a bid to make Manchester among the best digital hubs in the world.

Held at the Museum of Science and Industry, the Digital Summit was the first digitally-focused event Mr Burnham has convened since taking power in May.

“Today is about a conversation and we have got some very key people in the room to help us really establish Greater Manchester as a world-beating digital city,” he said, opening the event.

“I want them to help me write a new ambitious digital plan for our city region. Our goal is to be the best in the UK but I want everyone at the summit to have an input into how we do that and I will ask them to shape ideas with me.”

The mayor also announced new initiatives linked to improvements in digital including a £2m digital skills fund which he hopes local tech businesses will boost to at least £8m to grow the strategy.

“This is an incredible opportunity. My vision is for Greater Manchester to challenge neighbours in London, Bristol, Oxford and Cambridge to be the UK’s leading digital city. I have gathered the brightest and most influential tech people here and together we will achieve that,” he said.

The mayor made it clear that he intends for tech innovation to create a more equal society.

He said: “My passion truly lies in this idea of ‘tech for good’ and encouraging our great digital minds to think about the challenges in our society, creating tech to tackle them.

“It would be fantastic if we led the country in encouraging digital innovation which supports businesses and investment, creating jobs and opportunity, but focusing on improving outcomes for people such as loneliness or homelessness in our society.”