It’s time to speak up about the success of the digital sector in Leeds

Richard Flint at yesterday's launch.
Richard Flint at yesterday's launch.
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We’re on the crest of a digital wave – now let’s make sure the world knows about it.

That was the confident message delivered to guests at yesterday’s launch of the Yorkshire Evening Post’s new Digital City platform.

Dozens of movers and shakers from the tech sector and beyond attended the breakfast time launch, held at the YEP’s offices on Whitehall Road.

And they heard speeches from a panel of experts who repeatedly stressed the need to spread the word about the success of a sector that supports 70,000 jobs across the Leeds city region.

Richard Flint, chief executive of Sky Betting & Gaming, told the guests: “As a sector and a city we are pretty good at talking to ourselves about the significance of digital to the city and Yorkshire more generally.

“It is now incumbent upon us, and I include myself and Sky Betting & Gaming in this, to make sure the rest of the country knows all about the opportunities our city has to offer.”

Also speaking was Leeds Digital Festival director Stuart Clarke, who said: “We’re at a crucial period for the Leeds digital sector. The huge growth in numbers employed in the last five years has shown that we have become an important centre of digital in the UK.

“However, we need to shed our usual Yorkshire reluctance to shout about the great job we’re doing.

“I would like everyone in the sector to start referring to Leeds as the digital capital of the North.

“We need to push out this message to the city, to the rest of the UK and to the world.”

Another panel member, Coun James Lewis, deputy leader of Leeds City Council and the authority’s executive member for resources and strategy, said: “Leeds is a city with the strong foundations to build a successful business and we need to get out there together and spread the word and sell Leeds as a city with a strong digital sector with a collaborative spirit.”

The launch was chaired by YEP editor Nicola Furbisher, who said Digital City highlighted the newspaper’s determination to send the local sector’s profile soaring – both nationally and globally.

The first Digital City feature ran in yesterday’s YEP and will now appear online and in the printed version of the paper on a regular basis.

It will celebrate Leeds’s digital sector by focusing on everything from dynamic startups to fresh new products.

If you have a story for Digital City, ring 0113 238 8463, e-mail paul.robinsons@ypn.co.uk or tweet @MrPaulRobinson.

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