Following the recent launch of Tech Nation, we will be running a series of profile pieces on each of the digital clusters featured in the report.
Following the move of the BBC and ITV to Salford’s £950 million MediaCityUK complex, digital employment in Greater Manchester has grown to over 56,000. With the largest student population in Europe – standing more than 100,000 – the area has a critical mass of skilled workers. In addition, £3.5 billion has been invested to support Manchester’s digital and technology infrastructure, according to Manchester Investment and Development Agency Service (MIDAS).
Furthermore, The Sharp Project and Manchester Science Partnerships are working tirelessly to foster innovation and entrepreneurship. The Northern Quarter in the centre of Manchester has been dubbed as the centre of this thriving cluster, which is home to co-working revolutionisers, SpacePortX.
An abundance of talent and investment into the area’s has enabled the formation of a large digital community with a range of support groups, events and networks. These include the Manchester spin-off of 3 Beards‘ weekend networking group Silicon Drinkabout, as well as Business Growth Hub, which concentrate on startup innovation and the growth of Manchester based digital companies.
Manchester boasts the longest established School of Computer Science in the UK coupled with Manchester Metropolitan University‘s newly created ‘Shed‘, which offers graduates a great space to test their new technology. All of the above factors have contributed to the emergence of a notable set of digital companies from the Greater Manchester cluster including LateRooms and boohoo.
Co-founder of TechBritain, Doug Ward, believes being part of a cluster is incredibly beneficial “for your personal learning and even your business. It speeds up your network, speeds up access to customers, access to the press and access to investments, and talent.”
To find out more information about Greater Manchester’s digital cluster, download the Tech Nation report, view it online or visit our core project partner DueDil’s Online Interactive Guide on the area.