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Bridging the Digital Divide: Empowering Salford Through Digital Inclusion Event at 100 Embankment

The City Mayor Paul Dennett speaking at the event

Pioneering the digital inclusion journey since 2015, Salford City Council, alongside its network of community partners and local organisations, is propelling the transformation towards becoming a 100% digitally inclusive city. 

Salford is the fastest growing city in the region, and as the council we want to ensure that everyone benefits from this growth. The world is increasingly becoming digital, and so is the divide between people with digital access and knowledge and the people without.

We realised that there is need for more awareness and a concerted effort from Salford based businesses to support Salford residents. And so, during Get Online Week 2023, we organised the first ‘Empowering Salford Through Digital Inclusion’ event at 100 Embankment. 

It was a landmark event that brought together local businesses, industry leaders, and passionate individuals committed to fostering digital inclusion in Salford. Salford City Mayor, Paul Dennett opened the event by highlighting how the digital divide perpetuates inequality and hampers growth and prosperity. He envisioned a Salford where equal opportunities are not just a possibility but a reality for every resident, highlighting the transformative power of technology in levelling the playing field.

The event's purpose was to galvanise support to create a digitally inclusive city where every resident can benefit from the opportunities of the digital age. The primary goal of the event was to bring together local businesses and key community partners to foster collaboration and secure necessary resources to create a digitally inclusive city.  

A panel of experts sat at the event

This was further emphasised in the two panel discussions led by the council’s Digital Inclusion team. One saw industry leaders such as; Mo Isap – Chief Executive, IN4 Group, Phil East – Chief Executive, Salford Foundation, and Angela Davies – Head of Learning and Development, AJ Bell; talk about their organisations’ commitment to digital, and the role they are playing to promote digital inclusion. The other community panel discussion led by, Jason King – Senior Team Leader, Raising Aspirations,  Salford Foundation; Pat Mackela – Community Engagement Lead, Warm Hut; Andrew Higgins – Chair of Salford Deaf Community; and Elizabeth a Salford resident who had benefited from the digital courses at Warm Hut. This discussion brought to life what difference being digitally connected can make to people’s lives. Elizabeth shared her story of how digital skills empowered her to stay connected with her family and friends during the pandemic. It served as a poignant reminder of the transformative power of digital inclusion initiatives on individuals and communities, and how support from businesses can continue to help Salford residents. 

 An older lady sat with a microphone

The success of the event was further underscored by the overwhelming support from local businesses who pledged to assist the council’s work in ensuring digital inclusion in Salford.
Thank you to all the organisations who pledged their support:

  • AJ Bell
  • Manchester University
  • Egis
  • Phoenix Software Ltd
  • Rosgal
  • Loaves & Fishes
  • Sky Hubs
  • Salford City Council Digital and Data Team
  • Gov Tech
  • Salford City Council Communications Team

Watch the highlight video from the event

Your support can still make a significant difference

This event was a major step towards galvanising more support for digital inclusion in Salford. It does not stop there, our commitment to digital inclusion remains strong, and further support is welcomed to overcome barriers and create a more digitally connected city. 

To understand how you can play a role in helping fix the digital divide in Salford please visit the link below

Find out how you can pledge your support

A huge thank you to the organisations who have already pledged their support to accelerate the digital access in their local area.

About the author

Digital Everyone

The Digital Everyone project is part of Salford’s aim to become a Digital City, an ambition which forms part of our wider vision for a better, fairer Salford to improve resident’s lives.

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