Newham Council has announced the third part of its plan to become a leading destination for innovation in digital and data. It has done so by unveiling plans for the first Data Campus in London, with a focus on unlocking growth and transforming local government delivery in the borough.
Newham Sparks, the digital and data programme that will be based at East Ham Town Hall, will be supported through £1.2 million of council investment and will allow the area to become a key location for innovation, entrepreneurship and learning. With learning in leading edge digital and data technologies, the campus will look to create new opportunities for young people as they look to develop skills and careers, alongside providing a place for start-ups and businesses in high-growth data industries to expand.
The council, in collaboration with University College London’s Institute for Global Prosperity, conducted research that quantified the opportunity for digital growth in the borough, London, and the wider UK. The research discovered that the data sector in Newham currently generates £23.1 million in gross added value and that, if the borough is able to capitalise on the potential opportunities from this sector, that value could increase to £104 million by 2035. This would also benefit the community through the creation of over 5,500 new jobs in the data sector.
The placing of Newham puts it in a unique position to become a centre for the data and digital economy thanks to the existing ecosystem of innovation. This ecosystem includes the Innovation District in Olympic Park, further plans for the lower Lee Valley data centre, and the Royal Docks Enterprise Zone, alongside strong partnerships with University College London and the University of East London. The borough also has one of the youngest and most diverse populations in London, with high quality schools and student achievements proving how significant the future workforce opportunities can be.
Speaking on the 1st March was Rokshana Fiaz OBE, Mayor of Newham, who said:
“I am delighted to welcome more than 60 digital partners and over 100 students to our event today marking the launch of our plans to create London’s first Data Campus and the next chapter in our journey to deliver Newham Sparks. Our intention is for Newham to become a leading destination for the digital and data economy, capitalising on the unique opportunity our borough presents for innovators and investors while creating opportunities for our residents.
“Research shows that the data and digital industries will help us future proof our borough – above all in supporting our residents and young people to benefit from high quality local jobs while inspiring growth in businesses and supporting the transformation off how we deliver services as a local authority. I look forward to seeing businesses and young people together in our Data Campus collaborating on the ideas that will secure inclusive growth in Newham into the future.”