This new partnership signals the council’s recognition of the increasing importance of the digital sector to economic growth, health and wellbeing, and will provide a mechanism for closer engagement and collaboration between the authority and businesses.
It will also create opportunities for people working in the digital and creative industries to share their expertise to help address issues around skills, diversity and inclusion, enabling Sheffield to thrive in the digital economy.
Councillor Olivia Blake, deputy leader of Sheffield City Council, said: “We know that digital and creative companies are increasingly choosing to be based here in Sheffield, where they can be surrounded by the expertise, knowledge and support they need to make their businesses grow.
“We also recognise the importance of the digital sector in generating jobs and growth for the city, but also in helping to work with the public sector to enable residents to thrive and make the most of digital opportunities.
“Working with Sheffield Digital will enable us to build a coalition for Sheffield that can take the digital sector in the city to the next level.”
Councillor Mazher Iqbal, cabinet member for business and investment at Sheffield City Council, added: “Sheffield is known the world over as a city that makes, and this reputation is as true and important for our creative and digital industries as it is for our advanced manufacturing and engineering.
“I welcome the fact that we’ve further strengthened our relationship with Sheffield Digital by becoming a regional partner.”
Sheffield Digital was set up two years ago and now has a growing membership of tech businesses and individuals who work in the sector.
Other regional partners include the Advanced Manufacturing Research Centre (AMRC) and the Barnsley Digital Media Centre. Sheffield Digital also has close ties to both of Sheffield’s universities.
A full list of the founders, sponsors and members who support Sheffield Digital can be found on the organisation’s website: https://sheffield.digital
Mel Kanarek, one of Sheffield Digital’s directors, said: “Regional Partnerships are a way for other organisations in the region to collaborate with us and explore how working with digital technology can create benefits across the economy.
“This is an exciting time for the city. A number of initiatives are coming together that will help confirm Sheffield as a place where digital businesses thrive. We’re looking forward to the breadth of opportunities that this will create.”
The 2017 Tech Nation report showed that more than 18,000 people are employed in digital roles in Sheffield, while research by Sheffield Hallam University found that the top 25 tech companies in Sheffield City Region alone employ more than 12,000 people and bring in more than £2 billion a year.