Posted by:5 February, 2010
Sunderland City Council continues to lead the way among UK local authorities in promoting digital technology to tackle social exclusion.
In 2007, Sunderland won DCLG’s Digital Challenge competition and £3m to deliver its plans for a digitally-enabled community to benefit some of the most vulnerable and socially-excluded people in the area.
A year later, it was reported to be Britain’s most connected city, with 66% of households using broadband.
Now they done it again - winning the first prize of £10m in training vouchers in a competition organised by Microsoft.
Microsoft’s Britain Works challenge was intended to find councils demonstrating the most use of technology to deliver programmes to address unemployment and increase availability of digital skills in their local community.
Sunderland’s cabinet member for resources, Dave Allan said it was “testament to the hard work going on across the city to use technology to improve people’s lives and life opportunities”.
Helen Gilroy, Microsoft UK’s Head of Local and Regional Government said: “Sunderland was a clear winner for us because its comprehensive understanding of its locale mployment challenges and has a very clear and strategic plan to tackle these issues.”
The bid was delivered in partnership with the Local Strategic Partnership, Sunderland Software City, Sunderland University, City of Sunderland College, Unison, Job Linkage and Job Centre Plus.