Manchester Digital,  the independent trade association for the North West digital sector, has released its updated strategy.

Infrastructure, the digital ecosystem, skills, leadership, and profile and promotion are the key priorities.

There were established from research undertaken last year to understand the strengths and weaknesses of the industry in the North.

Manchester Digital’s development priorities for the next two years are:

  • Collaboration between different parts of the industry to encourage knowledge-sharing
  • A simplified procurement process and help for smaller companies to bid for larger projects
  • Providing a narrative that provides a true reflection of the North’s status and capabilities
  • Intervention to encourage retention of talent in the region, as well as in education to grow and develop the talent pipeline
  • Creating a sustainable multi-level mentoring scheme
  • Campaigning to use the devolution opportunity to open up the infrastructure market.

The report raises concerns that the work already being done in the region is under-represented by the public sector and that there is a lack of understanding about how it should support the industry.

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Graham Benson, chair at Manchester Digital and CIO of, said: “Our analysis of the digital sector comes as a number of big companies start to move their digital and tech teams here, demonstrating the pull of the region – Sainsburys and Bet365 being just a couple of examples.

“It’s now up to organisations like us to ensure the sector fulfils its potential.

“The research we undertook last year has been refined and has resulted in us deciding to prioritise these five areas of focus where intervention is required – areas where we believe we can make the most impact.

“Now we must agree an action plan to ensure that we optimise the results of the intense interest currently being focussed on our region and work collaboratively with businesses, education, and the public sector to ensure we’re getting it right.”

Manchester Digital is currently welcoming nominations for new council members.

Nominations will run until 16th June, voting will commence on the 23rd June and there will be a new council announcement on 7th July.