In collaboration with Calderdale Council and West Yorkshire Combined Authority, AND Digital announced the relaunch of the Halifax Digital Festival at a Crossley Gallery reception this week.
The inaugural festival took place in 2019, as a collaboration between local organisations, Calderdale Council and a number of industry partners. But COVID put a halt to the 2020 follow-up, and the festival hasn't run since. With the sharp increase in business activities and growth of the digital sector in Halifax, all parties believe this is the right time to relaunch the festival, now set to take place in May 2024.
Thriving Caldercale community
Driving force behind the re-launch is Jim Moran, Club Executive at AND Digital’s Club Sparck in Halifax. Moran commented: “I believe that, as organisations in Halifax and across Calderdale, we all see similar challenges in attracting, retaining and recruiting the right talent to help our businesses grow. If we tackle talent shortage and digital demand together, we can collectively find solutions.
We're surrounded by large nearby cities here in Halifax, like Leeds, Sheffield and Manchester, and whilst the success of those cities has had a positive impact on the digital economy of Calderdale, we believe we have to stand on our own two feet. The festival aims to bring businesses and people together from the private and public sectors, as well as educational organisations. Providing people with knowledge sharing options as well as upskilling opportunities, will accelerate digital growth in the area.”
The launch event on 14th November saw a full house from a diverse mix of businesses, all wanting to foster a real sense of community and create a starting point for the upcoming festival.
Jeremy Hall, Managing Director at Dean Clough Ltd, said: “Calderdale offers what no large conurbation can. It provides a fabulous opportunity for a genuinely nourishing work life balance, which supports the people and families who live and work here now and is hugely appealing to those people and businesses who are contemplating their future place of home and work.
The relaunch of the Halifax Digital Festival feels very well timed, confident in the knowledge that our community’s creativity and dynamic energy will enrich and energise our collective futures.”
Over the next few months, the Organising Committee will come together to create the festival’s programme, set to cover 3 days of activities. The festival is expected to host a variety of events, both in-person and virtual. Themes will include digital delivery management, accessibility, usability, experimentation and optimisation. The program will also feature panel talks and roundtables, seminars, tutorials and a career focused event.
Erin Mcilhatton, Digital Project Officer at Calderdale Council commented: “The Halifax Digital Festival will not only be a great opportunity for businesses and people to network and upskill their workforce, it's also a chance to celebrate the sheer amount of talent that we have in Calderdale that rivals the big cities. Giving opportunities for everyone, regardless of age, skills or background, will enable our area to thrive.”
If you’re a local business or individual that’s part of the thriving digital economy of Calderdale, a representative from a school, college or university in the area, or have an interest in getting into the world of tech and digital, we’d love to hear from you.
To find out how you can get involved in the Halifax Digital Festival 2024, please register your interest on the dedicated festival page.