Council Leader Bev Craig speaking at the digital media expo

Council leader announces plans to turn Manchester into ‘tech city’ during conference speech


  • Councillor Bev Craig introduces plans aimed at making Manchester world-leading digital city. 
  • New strategy announced at Digital City Expo hosted in MediaCity.

The new Manchester Digital Strategy is a set of plans and investments up to 2026 aimed at taking issues such as digital exclusion and helping to use technology to lower the city’s carbon emissions. 

With representation from some of the world’s largest tech firms like Google, Amazon and Microsoft, the council is hoping to attract forward-thinking companies to invest in the city’s burgeoning economy. 

Manchester is already Europe’s fastest-growing digital city with an economy estimated to be in the value of £5bn, the new steps aim to supercharge this promising growth. 

The four key pillars of the strategy are smart people, digital places, future prosperity and sustainable resilience. 

The council says it is crucial that Manchester has the infrastructure and facilities to attract the brightest young talent to study and hopefully one day work in the Manchester tech scene. 

One of the early signs of progress towards this goal is the completion of the new state of the art Manchester Metropolitan University SODA (School of Digital Arts) building. The £35m facility aims to revolutionise how the university teaches digital media courses. 

Newly-appointed council leader, Councillor Bev Craig, said “Manchester is the UK’s leading digital city outside London with a fast-growing concentration of innovation, expertise and talent.

“But we can’t and won’t settle for that. We must build on these strengths to create a digitally inclusive economy where everyone is equipped with the skills and infrastructure needed to share in – and contribute to – success.

“Our digital aspirations aren’t separate to the wider strategy for a thriving and sustainable city – they are fundamental to it. This new strategy will help power us along that path.”

At the Digital City Expo she was joined on stage by Alastair McGeoch, one of the key figures in American streaming giant Roku move to open new offices in Manchester.

He said: “When it came to Manchester, considering the rich engineering history and the cultural impact that the city’s had globally, it was an easy decision for us to make.”