Greater Manchester nominated in Innovation Awards - public vote now open!

Greater Manchester Combined Authority and partners have been nominated in the iNetwork Innovation Awards 2022.

The Local Full Fibre Network (LFFN) programme is reflected in the Connected Procurement & Commissioning Award and the public vote (external website) for the awards are now open. The public vote, alongside judges scoring will determine a shortlist and winners.

In early 2020, Greater Manchester Combined Authority (GMCA) procured Virgin Media O2 Business to deliver and support fibre optic infrastructure to more than 1,550 public service sites for a 30 year period. This was a collaborative initiative, involving Bury, Bolton, Oldham, Rochdale, Stockport, Trafford and Wigan Councils as well as GMCA, GM Fire & Rescue (GMFRS) and Transport for Greater Manchester (TfGM).

Read more and vote for the Local Full Fibre Network programme (external website)

In Greater Manchester we're ensuring that our technology procurements add additional social benefits/value for our people. The LFFN deal included a number of bold commitments to social value initiatives by Virgin Media O2 Business that would support Greater Manchester’s Digital Blueprint, including:

  • Supporting young people across the region at risk of digital exclusion
  • Connecting community sites across Greater Manchester, with free connectivity
  • Creating 20 apprenticeships based in Greater Manchester
  • Using employee volunteering hours across Greater Manchester to support community projects and helping schools to improve their digital services
  • Committing to a local workforce based in Greater Manchester

As the programme came to a close in late 2022, the programme achieved:

  • Created 38 new Greater Manchester based apprenticeship opportunities – 90% ahead of original target
  • Exceeded local employment target, with an average 78% of the LFFN workforce based in Greater Manchester
  • Installed connectivity, free for five years, in 17 community sites across Greater Manchester
  • Supported the Greater Manchester Technology Fund. The fund provides learners at risk of digital isolation with the technology and connectivity needed to continue their learning at home
  • Donated £100,000 to the Greater Manchester Mayor’s Charity
  • Made a £25,000 donation to support the Future Workforce Fund in partnership with GMCA and The Prince’s Trust
  • Since January 2021, Virgin Media staff have volunteered over 1,000 hours across Greater Manchester. A combination of dedicated support under the rollout of full fibre, as well as Greater Manchester based Virgin Media O2 Business employees making great use of paid volunteering days to support their local communities

These social value benefits, through procurement, were also featured on ITV Granada Reports, you can watch the feature below.

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Vote for the Local Full Fibre Network programme (external website) at the iNetwork Innovation Awards 2022. Voting closes on 22nd January 2023.

Article Published: 13/01/2023 13:25 PM