Empowering Sunderland’s Digital Future: A Review


14th March 2024

Topic Education, Insights, Living & Inclusion
Technology edtech, Wi-Fi
Sector Education, Insights, Living & Inclusion

At the heart of Sunderland’s smart transformation is a commitment to nurturing digital talent and fostering innovation. Proudly funding the Sunderland Digital Careers programme and the Tech Startup Sunderland enterprise programme, both delivered by Sunderland Software City, we are shaping a brighter future for our smart city.

With just 2.1% of Sunderland’s population employed in the information and communication industry, compared to the national average of 4.5%, the need for a robust technology ecosystem is clear. To future-proof our smart city, Sunderland Software City delivers programmes on behalf of Sunderland City Council to provide a pipeline of digital talent and businesses, essential for the economic growth and sustainability of our region.

Sunderland Digital Careers, a programme ran by Sunderland Software City and funded by Sunderland City Council, provides opportunities for young people to understand digital career pathways and the skills required to build successful working lives.


To date, the programme has been instrumental in engaging various segments of the community the programme reached 4,556 school students, 305 teachers and 56 parents and carers.

Eight workshops were delivered, covering crucial topics such as safety online and cybersecurity, coding in partnership with Sunderland Libraries, and a smart city workshop supported by Boldyn Networks and Sunderland City Council. The programme has also facilitated events for employers and a jobseekers event, providing a comprehensive platform for digital career exploration.

To explore more about the Sunderland Digital Careers programme, please visit the Sunderland Software City website.

Another initiative delivered by Sunderland Software City on behalf of Sunderland City Council is the Tech Startup Sunderland programme, which offers expert advice, networks, and resources for residents in Wearside with the ambition to start a tech business.


The programme has made significant strides in promoting entrepreneurship within the tech sector. To date the programme has engaged 3,819 people, which led to 213 people receiving 1-2-1 support, resulting in 17 new business registrations.

Money-saving platform Appre has also recently benefited from support through the Tech Startup Sunderland programme, taking advantage of pitching events and startup sprints to build connections across the North East.

Engaging residents through career and networking events, libraries, and community hubs, the Tech Startup Sunderland programme has become a catalyst for innovation. The third Tech Seeds cohort is currently underway, featuring a 6-week programme covering essential aspects of starting a tech business in Sunderland, including business ideation, startup financing, pitching, and more.

Learn more about the Tech Startup Sunderland programme on their website.

The strides made in Sunderland developing digital careers and tech startups not only empower individuals but also play a pivotal role in fostering the overall growth and prosperity of our smart city.

By endorsing the growth of young talent and emerging enterprises, we can establish a foundation for a digitally empowered future, guaranteeing a sustainable influx of skilled professionals. This approach not only creates employment opportunities within our businesses but also ensures a talent pipeline to fill these roles, thereby securing the ongoing development of our local economy and digital future.