Newspaper article Evening Gazette (Middlesbrough, England)

YES! Pounds 1.7m Plan Approved; Boost for Creative Industry

Newspaper article Evening Gazette (Middlesbrough, England)

YES! Pounds 1.7m Plan Approved; Boost for Creative Industry

Article excerpt

Byline: SANDY McKENZIE

A pounds 1.7M plan to provide a major boost to the digital and creative sector on Teesside has been approved.

Aims of the plan include an increase in the number of businesses in the area and boosting their business with overseas customers. Charlie Rooney, Middlesbrough's Executive councillor for economic development, has approved a new two-year plan for DigitalCity Business (DCB).

He said: "This is a present and future industry for the area. The amount we are spending will bring in far more value to our area."

DCB is part of the wider DigitalCity project which aims to create a successful and self-sustaining digital and creative super-cluster on Teesside.

It provides a wide range of support to graduates from Teesside University's Institute of Digital Innovation and other potential digital entrepreneurs to successfully establish companies and to grow.

DCB is part of Middlesbrough Council's regeneration department.

When DigitalCity was set up in 2005 the Teesside digital cluster included just 10 companies. They had little access to specialist support, few networking opportunities, and little contact with businesses or investors from outside the area.

Since 2005 DigitalCity has developed a cluster of more than 80 companies on DCB's support list with 20 of them being identified as having high growth potential.

Economic development manager Richard Horniman said in a report considered by Cllr Rooney: "Much of the success has been down to the flexible and innovative way individual companies are supported as well as the work that has taken place to develop a fertile environment for collaborative working between companies.

"The opening of Boho One in July 2009 has offered the cluster a physical presence that has raised its profile significantly and enabled interaction with a much wider network of people and opportunities. …

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