Smart city

‘Silicon Stoke’ prospectus sets out city’s digital ambitions

A new prospectus setting out the ambitions for the digital transformation of Stoke-on-Trent has been launched by the council to help secure partnerships and investment into the city.

The prospectus, called ‘Silicon Stoke’, was outlined by Stoke-on-Trent City Council leaders to government ministers, business leaders, voluntary sector organisations and health partners.

Silicon Stoke casts the city as a ‘smart city’ for the UK and outlines a number of opportunities to attract government funding and new national and international businesses to base themselves in Stoke.

It is also a key part of the city’s recovery from the Covid-19 pandemic and the prospectus outlines the areas where the city is already leading the way.

This includes the completion of a 113km full fibre network that has been laid across Stoke, with the opportunity for 5G connectivity citywide.

It is supported through £8.53m of government funding, a gaming hub, a full fibre academy at Stoke-on-Trent College, as well as a new Digital Academy. 

The launch was led by Stoke-on-Trent City Council Leader, Councillor Abi Brown and Deputy Leader, Councillor Daniel Jellyman and the prospectus is backed by the city’s three MPs, including Jonathan Gullis, who has championed the agenda in the UK Parliament. 

Minister for Digital Infrastructure and Broadband, Matt Warman, who attended the virtual launch, which outlined some of the key infrastructure that underpins the prospectus and digital transformation within the city said:

"Building first-class digital infrastructure is crucial for levelling up the country and I'm thrilled our £8.5m investment for a vast fibre broadband network underneath this great city will act as the springboard for Silicon Stoke.

"The funding, alongside the bold vision of the city's council leaders, will transform the city into a hotbed of digital innovation, creating jobs, boosting businesses and improving lives.”

Councillor Brown added: “We are living in extraordinary times. The coronavirus pandemic has demonstrated to us all the value of being connected. We want this connectivity available to all and we are delivering this through pioneering innovation.

“It’s not just about faster download speeds for streaming and gaming, although this will be a clear benefit from the technology.

“It’s about having the infrastructure to be able to improve health and social care through remote diagnosis, treatment and care, it’s about giving children in the city a first-class digital education through improved digital teaching.

“It’s also about having the infrastructure in place so that construction companies can build digital connectivity into the design and build of new homes. It’s also about supporting digital businesses to grow and helping our manufacturers to benefit from new technologies.

“This connectivity is a must-have, not a nice-to-have, for ensuring the wellbeing of our residents, businesses and society as a whole.

“We recognise next generation communications as one of the key drivers of our city’s digital transformation as we pass through and then emerge from the Covid-19 crisis. 

“We have the infrastructure in place to be at the heart of this revolution and with our brilliant workforce and know-how from Staffordshire and Keele universities, we also have the skills. 

“This prospectus is an invitation to work with us and even play with us. It sets out an array of opportunities to use the infrastructure we have put in place to achieve amazing things for our city and our people and in doing so, act as an exemplar for those who want to follow.”

PSE will be hosting a Digital Transformation event on 14 October. 
Join us for the full day event by registering here.

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