How Lancashire can become a £5bn digital powerhouse

Added by eBusiness UK on 26th Sep 2022 in Latest News

By Kam Kothia

Chief executive, eBusiness UK, Lancashire Enterprise Partnership board director and chair of the Digital Sector Group

I believe that Lancashire has the potential to become a multi-billion-pound, world-class digital powerhouse.

The Lancashire Enterprise Partnership, where I chair the Digital Sector Group, has now published its strategy which aims to help the county support 50,000 digital jobs and contribute £5bn annually to the local economy by 2035.

The publication of this 52-page document is the beginning of an exciting journey. We have a solid starting position, with around 4,000 digital businesses in the county, already accounting for around 20,000 jobs. We are also set to welcome the National Cyber Force, which can provide a springboard to great things.

We recognise that our vision for Lancashire’s digital sector is ambitious, but it is underpinned by a legacy of established capabilities coupled with the development of a vibrant collaborative ecosystem in which start-ups, scale-ups and even unicorns can thrive, resulting in more opportunities for our businesses and greater inward investment.

We can also look around us to see what is possible. For example, the UK recently became the third country to see its digital sector reach $1trillion, after China and the USA. A new tech ‘unicorn’ (a company worth £1bn) is currently being launched in this country every 11 days.

Now we need to be bold. Fortune favours the brave and together we can take that leap of faith and take Lancashire from the fringes to the heart of the UK’s technological ecosystem.

We must be proactive in taking advantage of the opportunities ahead and inspiring the county to work together in striving for this ambitious target. I encourage you to read the document in full, which you can find here. It lays out a series of 14 short, medium and long-term strategic interventions in an action plan, which will unlock Lancashire’s digital growth potential.

Below, I have outlined the key themes of the strategy, exploring what we must do to see Lancashire become a globally significant economic powerhouse at the forefront of the next industrial revolution.

Lay groundwork through the schools and colleges system

Lancashire is currently a net exporter of digital talent. We need to reverse this trend by building alliances with schools and colleges, not only to put digital skills high on the agenda but also to excite young minds about the possibilities of working for Lancashire-based digital companies.

Harness the influence of our excellent higher education institutions

Lancashire is home to some of the most well-respected universities in the world. By encouraging them to collaborate much closer with SMEs in the digital sector, and making their excellent research accessible to businesses, we could encourage tech companies to relocate into the county.

Foster new-start businesses

To become a digital powerhouse we must support entrepreneurs already within the county and attract those further afield seeking a home.  This includes developing incubators, accelerators and encouraging dialogue and partnership between new-starts as well as established businesses, and delivering support which accelerates businesses along the pipeline from pre-start to start-up, to SME to large business.

Support existing businesses

We already have many incredible tech businesses in the county. We need to work with existing support agencies to ensure they have all the tools they require, not only to keep doing what they’re doing but to strive for more, to inspire them to pursue game-changing innovations.

As well as creating a vibrant ecosystem which inspires innovation and collaboration, we need to ensure they have ready access to skills and funding.

This is because we don’t just want lots of tech businesses, we want the best tech businesses. There is no reason we can’t begin producing our own ‘unicorns’. Inspiring those already here will be key to this.

Improving Lancashire overall

To really inspire the best of the best to establish their businesses in Lancashire we need to take a broader look, beyond the tech sector. We need to ensure that we are a county where people want to live, play and raise their children. This includes improving transport links, offering the best in culture and entertainment, but also creating an identity and investing in marketing it so that it’s no secret what we have to offer. This will further our digital sector ambitions, and will also ensure that the county as a whole benefits from this once in a generation opportunity.

If we get this right, our county can achieve its goal of becoming a globally significant hub of technological and digital innovation, becoming the UK’s fastest-growing digital economy by 2035.

In doing so, we’ll raise the aspirations of the county as a whole.

Discuss Your Project With Us

You can either give us a call on
01254 279998

Or complete the contact form below and a member of our team will call you back.

    This site is protected by reCAPTCHA and the Google Privacy Policy and Terms of Service apply.

    Added by eBusiness UK on 26th Sep 2022 in Latest News

    Connect With Us

    Google Rating
    Based on 55 reviews

    Head Office

    eBusiness UK Ltd
    Capricorn House, Capricorn Park,
    Blakewater Rd, Blackburn BB1 5QR

    Phone: 01254 279998

    Email: [email protected]

    Other Locations

    eBusiness UK Ltd
    64 Nile Street, London
    N1 7SR

    Phone: 0207 205 5786

    Email: [email protected]

    eBusiness UK Ltd
    The McLaren Building
    46 The Priory Queensway, Birmingham
    B4 7LR

    Phone: 0121 695 7800

    Email: [email protected]

    eBusiness UK Ltd
    61 Mosley Street, Manchester
    M2 3HZ

    Phone: 0161 960 0075

    Email: [email protected]

    To receive our monthly newsletter, please type your email address below: