History of Digital in Manchester

Just as it was one of the primary powerhouses of the Industrial Revolution, Manchester is also firmly at the forefront of both the digital landscape and the wider UK economy. With almost 3 million people choosing to call the city their home, it should come as no surprise to learn that the digital opportunities in Manchester are vast.

As a Top 20 European digital city, Manchester is now home to more than 7,000 creative and tech-based companies. In 2016 alone, more than 1,600 start-ups were founded in the city, cementing its place firmly at the forefront of the digital revolution. Additionally, digital giants including Cisco, IBM and the BBC also maintain a strong presence in Manchester, making it one of the most diverse digital cities in the world.

Innovation, creativity and development are all characteristics that are ingrained in the city of Manchester. Although not the sprawling metropolis that is Paris or London or New York, Manchester’s compact size is proving to be a strength and not a weakness. The opportunities for networking and collaboration have fostered a community-focused environment that understands how to maximise the potential that is there for the taking.

As new technologies emerge and consumer behaviour changes, the landscape has become a more diverse place; start-ups find it easier to enter the marketplace and maintain a competitive position. More established businesses have learned from the agile nature of small start-ups and have adapted to ensure that they too are maximising their growth potential in every possible way.

Looking to the Future

Proving that decision-makers and leading figures in Manchester are always striving for future growth, at the end of 2016, it was announced that grants of £2 million have been awarded specifically to develop two brand new technology hubs in the city. The ultimate goal here is to create and sustain 2,000 jobs over the next 10 years, with funding being allocated by Manchester City Council. Premises to incubate and host small to medium-sized enterprises (SMEs) and entrepreneurs will be refurbished and will provide 140,000 sq ft of floor space for what will undoubtedly transpire to be a variety of exciting projects, initiatives and businesses.

The Leader of Manchester City Council, Sir Richard Leese, commented that Manchester’s digital revolution remains a top priority and emphasised that groups including Tech North will ensure that the hubs are developed and managed to deliver the best possible levels of performance. The digital sector thrives on communication and collaboration. Manchester’s local tech and digital communities have worked hard to make the city a digital hub and are pushing to ensure that it inspires attention on an international level, drives future growth, and maintains its position as a disruptive and exciting sector of the economy.

The Head of Innovation at Manchester Science Partnerships, Anne Dornan, has highlighted the city’s diverse and flourishing tech community and reiterated that continuous investment in this sector will ensure that start-ups and scale-ups will have the access to the talent they need to fulfil their growth potential. This is particularly exciting as, although undeniably a teeming hub of digital creativity, Manchester is also feeling the pressure of the nation-wide skills shortage.

A Dedicated Digital Strategy Will Secure Manchester’s Position as a Leading Digital Hub

The Mayor of Greater Manchester, Andy Burnham, has launched a dedicated digital strategy which is hoped will establish the city as the UK’s Tech Capital. Recruitment consultants and hiring managers are also contributing to the future of Manchester’s digital landscape by mapping the market to effectively match candidates with the right roles.

The collective mood amongst established tech businesses and fresh start-ups in the Manchester digital scene can be described as both buoyant and hopeful. Investment in MediaCity was in many ways the catalyst for this continued sense of positivity, which has been further enhanced by the talent graduating from the city’s universities and bolstered by a wide-scale roll out of effective superfast internet connectivity.

Excitingly, the very nature of the digital landscape means that this forward-thinking sector is constantly in a state of flux. The sense of community and collaboration has ensured that the potential that lies within each new development is acted upon, which pushes the entire sector forwards and once again helps Manchester to cement itself as one of the top places in the world for digital businesses.

If you are looking for a new role in the digital sector or want to explore the options available to you in and around the Manchester area, why not contact our team here at Digital State Recruitment who can tell you everything you need to know and provide a wealth of advice to help you to make your next career move.