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How We Get the Message Across to Government

Wired Sussex participates in a number of organisations and groups, locally and nationally. We do this to further the interests of our digital, media and tech cluster and to represent our members.

These groups are a way to share ideas and challenges with others who also support digital clusters and to talk to policymakers and those with access to power and resources.

For us, it is important that we keep our digital cluster very visible to local and national government, make sure that they understand how special it is, and what support it needs to prosper. Your Wired Sussex membership enables us to undertake that work, ensuring that we can use these forums to speak up for you.

Here we summarise four of the groups we are represented on and what they do:

UK Tech Cluster Group

Wired Sussex are founder members of the UK Tech Cluster Group and sit on its board. The UK Tech Cluster group includes representatives of all the major digital hubs outside of London. Besides ourselves, this includes Manchester, Bristol, Newcastle, Cardiff, Edinburgh, and Birmingham.

It was formed to offset the focus on London (and Silicon Roundabout), help regional cities share information and best practices, and to present the case to the government for support for digital clusters outside of the capital city. 

Through UKTCG, we meet regularly with ministers and senior civil servants giving them feedback that helps to increase their understanding of the needs of regional clusters. During Covid, we have used it to argue for better support for our freelancer community and to explain the role of shared workspaces in our regional ecosystems.
 

The Creative Industries

The overlap and integration between the creative industries and the digital sector is something that our cluster is well known for since the Brighton Fuse research. We sit on the decision-making groups for 2 national creative industry bodies so that we can reflect the experiences of our creative industry members, including those in games, TV and the music industry. 

The Creative Industries Council Clusters & Regions Group

The Clusters & Regions group is a DCMS run invite-only group that reports back to ministers. It has a strong focus on empowering local and regional government to recognise and understand the value of creative businesses to the economy. You can view its strategy here

The Creative Industries Policy & Evidence Centre

The Policy & Evidence Centre receives funding to commission research that can help inform policy on the creative industries. This includes research into the creative industries in the Greater Brighton area, and that has helped guide the thinking of local authorities in Brighton, Worthing and elsewhere.

The Centre has recently been analyzing the impact of Covid-19 on employment in the sector and changes in media consumption during lockdown.
 

Brighton & Hove Economic Partnership 

The BHEP brings together representatives of the key economic sectors in the city with the decision-makers at the council. It meets quarterly to reflect on, discuss and feed into the council’s economic strategy.

About the author

Phil Jones

Hi, I'm the Managing Director of Wired Sussex, overseeing our strategy as an organisation and work to promote our membership and its needs to local, national and international stakeholders, including government.

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