Addressing the digital divide across Greater Manchester

Mayor of Greater Manchester, Andy Burnham said: “If Greater Manchester is truly going to be a world leading digital city region, we have to make a big commitment to fix the digital divide, the consequences of not doing so are severe – with our people at risk of further social isolation, lack of equal opportunities and not being able to access support. We are ensuring that everyone in Greater Manchester, whatever their age, location or situation, can benefit from the opportunities digital brings. Now is the time where Greater Manchester can lead the way in achieving an ambition that we should all strive for country wide”.

The issue of digital exclusion

A report produced by The Good Things Foundation and Liverpool University in 2020 suggests that levels of digital exclusion is much worse than previously thought. As many as 1.2m residents in Greater Manchester could be excluded in some way to access the benefits digital brings. 

A lack of digital access and skills can have huge negative impact on a person’s life, leading to increased loneliness and social isolation, less access to jobs and education, which both in turn are associated with poorer health outcomes and a lower life expectancy and financial exclusion.

Greater Manchester Digital Inclusion Agenda- collaborating to fix the digital divide

 In October 2020 the Greater Manchester Digital Inclusion Agenda was launched, with a bold ambition to make Greater Manchester a 100% digitally-enabled city region. 

A Digital Inclusion Taskforce and Digital Inclusion Action Network were set up as part of the agenda to bring together organisations from across Greater Manchester to tackle the issue.

The Digital Inclusion Taskforce which now has over 190 members brings together industry, VCSC sector, public sector partners, local government, schools and health to fix the digital divide across Greater Manchester.

The Taskforce works in collaboration to focus and shape action to address the interrelated barriers to digital inclusion and the digital divide such as connectivity, accessibility, affordability, skills, motivation and confidence.

Find out more about the taskforce and join

Following his re-election in May 2021, Mayor of Greater Manchester, Andy Burnham, announced ambitions for Greater Manchester to become one of the first city-regions in the world to equip all under-25s, over-75s and disabled people with the skills, connectivity and technology to get online.

As part of his reinforced commitment to get residents online, Andy Burnham established a Digital Inclusion Action Network. The Digital Inclusion Action Network will lead targeted action to combat digital exclusion with a specific focus on supporting under-25s, over-75s and disabled people in Greater Manchester.

The action network will shape the outcomes and areas of focus for the Greater Manchester Digital Inclusion Taskforce and will enable the Mayor to work in collaboration with businesses, local authorities, schools, voluntary and charitable organisations to drive forward this ambition.



Below, you'll also find some of the ways Greater Manchester is addressing the digital divide, including digital inclusion support in each local authority area, as well as news and updates as we progress on our mission to become a 100% digitally enabled city region.

Page Thumbnail

BLOG: An innovative partnership to improve digital inclusion for social housing tenants 

Find out about the work WCHG are doing to support residents to get online

Page Thumbnail

BLOG: Tackling digital exclusion in Wigan, 12 months on…

Digital Wigan’s service does everything from helping people to get online, keeping in touch with family and friends

Page Thumbnail

CASE STUDY: How Everyone Can transform lives through gaming

Everyone Can are a technology & gaming charity that help enrich the lives of disabled people

Page Thumbnail

CASE STUDY: Getting jobseekers online- a partnership between TalkTalk and DWP

Knowing that some vulnerable groups are unable to access their standard broadband services..

Page Thumbnail

CASE STUDY: Bridging the Digital Divide by recycling IT

Recycle-IT! is on a mission to get refurbished computers back into the local community

Page Thumbnail

BLOG: Innovation to transform lives

How an innovative new initiative could transform the lives of SEND students and has started to close the digital skills gap.

Page Thumbnail

BLOG: Tackling digital exclusion in Wigan

The Digital Wigan team is part of Wigan Council, the team works closely with Wigan Borough’s community to support residents to develop essential digital skills.

Page Thumbnail

BLOG: How CodeYourFuture are changing lives through coding

CodeYourFuture is a non-profit organisation dedicated to fighting inequality...

Page Thumbnail

BLOG: Go Digital inspiring young people

How the Go Digital programme has been inspiring young people In Greater Manchester to consider careers in the digital sector.

Page Thumbnail

Greater Manchester Digital Inclusion Taskforce

The GM Digital Inclusion Taskforce was set up to fix the digital divide across our city-region

Page Thumbnail

Local Authority Digital Inclusion Support

Residents can access support from their council to help them get online and develop digital skills

Page Thumbnail

Doing digital in later life: a practical guide

Brand-new practical guide to support more people to get online and benefit from doing digital in lat

Related News

Related Content

Page Thumbnail
ITV Granada feature- The Digital Divide: 'I didn't want to live anymore'
Page Thumbnail
ITV Granada feature- Poorest North West students face £14 million hole in school funding
Page Thumbnail
Digital Inclusion Roadmap proposes strategies for Combined Authorities
Page Thumbnail
BLOG: A new tool in your toolbox: the Digital Exclusion Risk Index