"We can create economic conditions for growth, an inclusive ecosystem where micro-businesses and SMEs can really flourish"
Speaking at yesterday’s FinTech North conference in Liverpool, Metro Mayor Steve Rotheram talked up the opportunities of devolution, and the plans to create a digital ring to use Big Data capabilities ethically.
The former MP addressed a packed out audience at Liverpool’s first FinTech North conference as part of the International Business Festival. Steve Rotheram said:
“The North has suffered from an unbalanced economy; for example, for every pound of transport investment we get, London gets six. But Liverpool can now become the digital gateway to the fourth industrial revolution… We can create economic conditions for growth, an inclusive ecosystem where micro-businesses and SMEs can really flourish.”
The Mayor also referenced plans for a Digital Ring, linking the local areas with connectivity: “The possibilities of the digital ring means we can use Big Data for the region, as long as it’s ethical, creating not just ‘superfast’, but ‘ultrafast’ speeds. Digital connectivity and renewable energy is where the magic starts, and we already have global companies looking to this region for that.”
Liverpool remains an important part of the Northern Powerhouse jigsaw, it has seen a 144% increase in digital business births from 2011-2016, boasting an annual turnover of £305m in digital tech businesses and a £44m growth since 2014.
The event heard from speakers who had travelled from as far as Canada and Australia as well as local tech firms such as Colu, the inventors of the Liverpool Local Pound, and MirrorWeb which recently announced its contract to preserve the UK Government’s entire digital history in a fully searchable, cloud-based archive.
Director of FinTech North Julian Wells said,
“FinTech North has evolved immensely in its three years, culminating in the final event of 2018 today in Liverpool. Originally it was a one-day event in Leeds that went extremely well and this year it has expanded to Manchester and Liverpool for the first time. In two years, FinTech North has delivered 17 events with over 1700 attendees from 400 companies from more than 10 countries around the world. What is clear is that FinTech North has struck a chord with the community we have developed and is opening up opportunities for collaboration for organisations in the north, the UK, and internationally.”