Ambitious Plans for Software Development Base; the Knowledge Driven Economy

Article excerpt

THE North East's newest city has ambitious plans to attract millions in investment and create thousands of new jobs by becoming a centre for software development.

Sunderland Software City is a long-term vision to diversify the city's industrial base and create a vibrant software industry by building on Sunderland's strengths as a centre for IT.

Key partners include Leighton Group, the University of Sunderland, Sunderland City Council, the North East Business and Innovation Centre and regional development agency One NorthEast.

While the vision is long-term, there is already significant activity at ground level. Companies like Leighton Group - part of an emerging band of software companies - are putting Sunderland's name on the map.

The city's reputation is such that it has been named as one of the world's most IT intelligent communities for the past seven years.

It also enjoys several key assets that can be aligned to the development of a software sector. This is underpinned by high-quality sites and premises across the city boasting unrivalled telecommunications connectivity anywhere in the North East.

One of those high-quality sites is the e.volve business centre at Rainton Bridge Business Park. The hi-tech building is a hub for fast growing knowledge intensive businesses. It provides excellent telecommunications and network facilities and is able to assist new businesses through the early stages of growth with flexible accommodation and business support.

Among those ventures based at the centre are Guroo Ltd, an education software developer; the IT division of financial advisers and accountants Armstrong Watson Solutions; Travel and Tourism Ltd and PCI Services.

Another key asset is the University of Sunderland's School of Computing. …

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