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Manchester Digital launches manifesto to boost fintech in the North

Manchester Digital has launched a Manifesto for the Northern Tech Economy ahead of the mayoral elections that will take place on May 2nd.

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Manchester Digital launches manifesto to boost fintech in the North

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The Manifesto highlights how the North is an untapped market full of potential, with gaining over £1.1 billion investment in the last five years in Manchester, Leeds, Liverpool, and Sheffield, and a student population above 250,000.

Alison Ross, chair of Manchester Digital’s board and chief people and operations director at Auto Trader, commented: “With the right investment, organisation and collaboration, northern cities have the potential to become Britain’s biggest tech hub. As the representative of the city-region with the largest digital economy and the most developed devolved political arrangements in the north, the Mayor of Greater Manchester should instigate the creation of a Northern Tech Nexus with the aim of establishing a new global tech ecosystem that would serve as a counterpoint to the dominance of London and the South East.”

The Manifesto lists three key core themes:

  1. to form a Northern Tech Nexus of academic, civil, and business leaders from Northern cities to create a tech ecosystem and establish an annual Northern Tech Summit to bring together global experts and companies;
  2. to bolster innovation and growth by fueling tech start-ups and supporting students in the field; and
  3. to foster digital talent through apprenticeships and the Mbacc initiative to encourage more people to join the fintech sector.

Ahead of the elections, the Manifesto calls for the new mayor to take advantage of the fintech growth capable of taking place in the North. Andy Burnam is the mayor of Greater Manchester and is currently running for his third term for the Labour Party.

Katie Gallagher OBE, managing director at Manchester Digital, stated: “We see an opportunity to build a powerful northern tech ecosystem with Greater Manchester at its heart. We want to work closely with the Mayor to create a combined northern approach to tech growth and innovation, harnessing core strengths across different city-regions to propel future growth on a larger scale. The recommendations in our Manifesto focus on the achievement of that goal, boosting innovation and skills in the process.”

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