New advisory board to help transform the district’s digital services

A new advisory board comprised of local technology experts has been formed to help the Lancaster district realise its potential in the digital sector.

The principle behind the board is to ensure that Lancaster City Council’s digital aspirations are aligned with the needs of the district.

The 14-strong team will provide strategic leadership to help the council implement its digital strategy, which sets out a roadmap to becoming a clean, green and healthy district through the use of technology.

Key projects that could meet these aims include the expansion of high-speed fibre broadband and new wi-fi hotspots, collaborating with the university sector on new technologies and changing the way the council delivers its services through focussing on customer needs.

The advisory board will initially focus on two key workstreams. The first of which is designed to improve the social and digital inclusivity or residents, the third sector, and businesses while the second is to a provide a framework and structure which ultimately drives innovation.

Once fully operational, this new board will seek out access to shared funding for projects which will help to develop the local economy using digital technology. It will also look to form new partnerships with like-minded organisations throughout the region/country.

Lorna Stellakis, managing director of Q2Q, has agreed to chair the board. She said: “While I may run a technical business, my background is primarily operational — meaning my focus is always on service delivery and continuous improvement.

“Q2Q is steadfast in its belief that our customers should be left to run their companies, without the headache of worrying about IT issues. Therefore, helping to drive the changes that Lancaster needs — such as attracting new enterprises to the town while also ensuring existing organisations are able to function with something as simple as high-speed broadband — felt like the ideal fit for me to be involved.”

Councillor Tim Hamilton-Cox, the city council’s cabinet member for Sustainable Economic Prosperity, added: “Creation of the advisory board has been underway for some time, but the Covid-19 pandemic has brought into sharp focus how reliant we are on technology and the part it plays in businesses being able to operate effectively and efficiently.

“The sector will only continue to grow and if the district is to keep pace with others and continue to be an attractive location for new and existing businesses, we need to be able to strengthen our capabilities.

“The new advisory board provides us with a structured approach and strategic leadership to initiate, anticipate and react to new digital initiatives and concepts for the benefit of both residents and businesses.”

For more information on Lancaster City Council’s digital strategy visit Lancaster.gov.uk/digital.

Last updated: 06 October 2020