Sunderland’s software industry wins praise at Westminster

Ed Vaizey
Ed Vaizey
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WEARSIDE’S flourishing software industry has been recognised in the House of Commons.

Sunderland was one of three software centres – alongside Brighton and Hove and Cambridge – to host a reception aimed at highlighting what has already been achieved and encouraging more collaboration between firms in the sector.

City council chief executive Dave Smith told an invited audience – including representatives of multi-national giants such as Microsoft and Cisco – that Sunderland had concentrated on creating the right environment for software firms to do business with the support of the both the public and private sectors.

Investment in hardware and infrastructure over the last 10 years has been backed up by the launch of the Sunderland Software City initiative.

He said: “We have a range of thriving and growing software enterprises in the city that have developed and are operating not just in the city, not just on a national basis, but are operating on an international scale.”

But Sunderland could not do it alone and was keen to work with other cities that could help its businesses to succeed.

“We welcome the opportunity to work with other parts of the country,” Mr Smith added. “We want this opportunity.”

Creative industries minister Ed Vaizey told the audience the software industry was creating sustainable jobs.

“These are the industries of the here-and-now but also of the future

“You can go to Brighton, you can go to Manchester, you can go to Sunderland, you can go to Cambridge and you will find these industries.

“It would be great if we could work together to really support the networking opportunities in the cities, so people can learn from each other and everyone can help each other.”

Ian Farrar, from Washington software firm Datawright, was among those invited to the reception.

“Being here today shows that Sunderland is a city which is synonymous with software,” he said.

“It is an opportunity to meet with the major players and highlight the work we are doing as a city.”

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