On 6 July Andy Burnham delivered on one of his core pledges to hold the first digital and tech summit in Greater Manchester. The new Mayor used the Summit to outline his vision for Greater Manchester to become a world leading digital and smart city, whilst convening partners across the sector on how this can actually be achieved.
Burnham also announced some very welcome plans and funding to bolster the digital skills and market of Greater Manchester. It included a £2 million digital skills fund, and challenged business to contribute. He also confirmed that Greater Manchester Digital Infrastructure Board will meet later this month, whilst also announcing the appointment of Councillor Richard Farnell, Leader of Rochdale Council, will be the portfolio lead for Digital City Region
Commenting, Georgina Maratheftis, Programme Manager – Local Government, said:
“It is great to see the Mayor of Greater Manchester set out so early on the digital ambition, and articulate so clearly, the vision for Greater Manchester and recognising the key issues outlined in techUK’s Digital Devolution: A Guide for Mayors. The Mayors, with their direct and convening powers, must use their new and unique position to accelerate the pace of transformation, working closely with public sector, the community and industry to deliver better outcomes for all citizens by creating truly joined-up services and places where citizens want to live and thrive.
"Digital devolution presents one of the biggest opportunities to do things differently, break down the traditional barriers to service delivery to drive improved outcomes for all. It is very encouraging to see the Mayor fully grasp the power of tech for good at the Summit and putting in place the political leadership to drive forward the digital agenda.
"Burnham, rightly pointed out ‘what is it to be a true digital city region in a modern 21st century,’ and techUK looks forward to working with the Mayor to support him deliver the vision."