Greater Manchester Digital Bulletin


Each month we'll share the latest content, news and progress as we embark on our ambition to be recognised as a world-leading digital city region. Welcome to the May edition of our e-bulletin.

An image of two people holding tablets next to a van of devices

Greater Manchester Police makes donation to Greater Manchester Tech Fund


Greater Manchester Police (GMP) has donated 2,400 tablets to the Greater Manchester Technology Fund to be repurposed to support young people and families facing digital exclusion across the city-region.

The Greater Manchester Tech Fund was launched at the start of the pandemic by the Mayor of Greater Manchester, Andy Burnham to support digitally excluded young people with the technology and connectivity needed to continue their learning at home while schools and colleges remained closed. 

Public device donation appeal

GMP’s donation marks the transition of the Greater Manchester Technology Fund, from an emergency response supporting young learners whilst education settings were closed, to a long-term support scheme to tackle the digital divide in communities across Greater Manchester. Residents and businesses are now being asked to donate their old digital devices to be repurposed to support digitally excluded people locally.

Find out more

An image of a women and her child working on a laptop together

Andy Burnham announces ambitions to help get residents online

Last month, the Mayor of Greater Manchester, Andy Burnham announced ambitions for Greater Manchester to become one of the first city-regions to equip all under-25s, over-75s and disabled people with the skills, connectivity and technology to get online.

As part of this new ambition, the Mayor established the Digital Inclusion Action Network to lead targeted action to combat digital exclusion within these target groups in Greater Manchester. 

The new action network will work closely with the Greater Manchester Digital Inclusion Taskforce and enable the Mayor to work in collaboration with businesses, local authorities, voluntary and charitable organisations to drive forward this ambition.

Read more about the announcement


In Greater Manchester, we are doing digital differently.  We are committed to being a digital city-region that puts our residents at the heart of our plans and are working towards our ambitions to be recognised as a world leading digital city-region.  

In February 2020, we launched the new Greater Manchester Digital Blueprint, which sets out a three-year approach to meeting our ambitions for our city-region, and will be reviewed regularly in line with the pace of digital change.

The Blueprint identifies five digital priorities, the priorities have been co-designed and developed with the input of key stakeholders and are supported by pan-Greater Manchester public sector projects. 

Watch a short video on each of those priorities.

An image of a women and child working on a laptop together

Tackling the digital divide locally


Recently, GMCA Principal Skills Manager Adele Reynolds, spoke at the launch of the Lloyds Banking Group 2021 Consumer Digital Index.

During the event Adele provided a local context to the findings of the index and discussing what the UK digital divide means from a regional perspective. Adele also wrote about the Consumer Digital Index and the work being done in Greater Manchester to tackle the digital divide on our blog.

Read Adele's blog 

Entrepreneurs launch unique innovation growth programmes at HOST to nurture new and diverse entrepreneurial talent


HOST, the Home of Skills & Technology at MediaCityUK, has opened applications for its Cyber Innovation Lab and Unity Centre of Excellence Incubator programmes for ambitious start ups and SMEs creating innovations in cyber, data science, AI and immersive sectors.

The Cyber Innovation Lab incubates best-in-class cyber, data science and AI start ups and scale ups, and supports the rapid development of industry-leading disruptive innovations. While the Unity Centre of Excellence Incubator Programme connects outstanding innovators with the creativity, imagination, and expertise of Unity, providing invaluable access to Unity’s technical leads, creatives and support networks.

Read more about the new growth programmes

Image of people sat around a table with various digital devices, drinks and food

Why we need to keep talking about accessibility

The Co-op want as many people as possible to be able to use Co-op products and services which is why they have being working hard to be inclusive with their design.

As a result of their work improving accessibility across their products and services, the Co-op were recently rated the number 1 supermarket for website accessibility. They wrote a blog for us about the work they have been doing in this space.

Read Joanne's blog

National Cyber Security Centre logo

National Cyber Security Centre launches support for startups

NCSC for Startups is the successor to the NCSC Cyber Accelerator, a programme which helped more than 40 tech companies raise in excess of £100m in external investments.

NCSC for Startups offers something for startups at all stages of maturity, from those developing a Minimum Viable Product (MVP), to those with established solutions looking to expand into new markets.

Find out more about the programme and how to get involved

New Open Data Portal Presents A Bigger Picture Of Stockport Residents

Stockport Council, in partnership with other organisations across Stockport, has developed a new open access data portal to share information and encourage the reuse of data for the benefit of people in Stockport.

‘The Big Stockport Picture’ brings together data published by organisations from across the Borough and is designed to help with local transparency, aid collaboration and to build products and services that benefit Stockport citizens.

Read more about the new portal

An image of the Bruntwood SciTech logo

Bruntwood SciTech chosen as referred partner by The University of Manchester for ID Manchester

The UK’s ambition to be a world-leading science and technology innovation hub has taken another step forward as The University of Manchester announced Bruntwood SciTech as its preferred bidder to deliver the £1.5 billion innovation district - ID Manchester. 

The University and Bruntwood SciTech will now form a new partnership to enhance, develop and deliver the vision to establish ID Manchester as a new innovation district, home to a global community that will play a vital role in the future of the UK science and technology sector, with the potential to create over 10,000 new jobs in the next 10-15 years.

Read more

New funding opportunities


Virgin Media O2 Together Fund

Virgin Media O2 has launched a £500,000 fund to supercharge hundreds of local charities across the UK as the nation emerges from the pandemic.

The “Together Fund” is a nationwide initiative designed to specifically support local charities that champion and celebrate community spirit, belonging and togetherness across the UK. Grants of £1,000 are available for environmental and community belonging projects, inspiring people across the UK to get together and create positive change for the causes they care most about.

Find out more about this fund

An image of all the event panel speakers

Digital Leaders Week- Building a Digital City Region

In early 2020, the GMCA  launched the new Greater Manchester Digital Blueprint, which sets out a three-year approach to meeting our ambitions for our city-region.

This GMCA panel event, taking place as part of Digital Leaders Week 2021 will discuss what that approach has looked like over the last 12 months, showcasing some areas of focus for our region before highlighting what’s next for Greater Manchester and the scale of what we are doing across the region.

Book your place


Watch "demystifying female journeys into tech" from our friends over at ANS Group or find out more about what they do.

Upcoming events

Digital Leaders Week 2021 | 14th - 18th June 2021  

GMCA Digital Industry Briefing Tech UK
6 July, 10am - 11am
Book your place

This is just some of the fantastic and really important work being done in the region. We'll continue to share more information, news and updates through Twitter.

GMCA Digital Team

Previous editions of the GM Digital Bulletin