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Introducing our Headline Sponsor: The Seam

By Sheffield Digital Festival

Barnsley is an exciting place to be right now if you work or study in the digital industries. We are delighted to have Barnsley’s new digital campus, The Seam, as Headline Sponsor of the Sheffield Digital Festival 2020.

The Seam is a new innovation campus in the heart of Barnsley, designed to inspire entrepreneurs, create talent pathways, grow business networks, and make Barnsley a better place to live, work and create.

The campus brings together the Barnsley Digital Media Centre (DMC 01), and the brand new DMC 02 building, which was officially opened on Thursday 15 October, at a virtual launch event. The new digital business hub offers premium office space, a Maker Lab and co-working spaces, all revealed at the online event, which you can watch below.

The Seam also includes Barnsley College’s  SciTech Digital Innovation Hub, home to the newly formed Digital Industries Department.

So, at this exciting time for the borough of Barnsley, why sponsor the Sheffield Digital Festival? Tracey Johnson, DMC and Digital Economy Manager at Barnsley Council, says,

“Sheffield is such an exciting place for all things digital. There’s so much energy, creativity and real chutzpah in the city, and in the whole city region; Barnsley is a key part of that. The DMCs are all about collaboration and so it makes absolute sense for us to be involved in the Festival and to support this excellent platform for the region.”

Barnsley DMC - enabled by Barnsley Council - has been contributing to the broader digital ecosystem in our region for a long time. IoT Tribe North is just one of the exciting projects it has delivered, bringing two tribes (soon to be three) of national and international Internet of Things start-ups into our region. The team at the DMC has partnered with Capital Enterprise and has just launched the £6 million programme, TEAM SY, which will see even more market-leading accelerators come to Sheffield, supporting more start-ups within the region.

Tracey comments,

“We have a huge opportunity to grow and scale our digital ‘cluster’ and to think about how digital technologies and ways of working can impact and improve other industries. In Barnsley, we see our role as being a place where the public sector can help to enable innovation. We think of ourselves as a market for technology, collaborators in solving problems with technology, a mechanism to broker excellent business support into companies, an enabler of connections and opportunities, and ultimately a partner in helping businesses to grow.”

Underpinning The Seam is an ambitious plan to transform the campus area into an inclusive urban village focused on innovation, technology and transformation, with the DMCs right at the heart. They are joined by Barnsley College, which has big plans to nurture innovation and to close the region’s digital skills gap.

David Akeroyd, Deputy Principal Development and Productivity at the College says,

“Barnsley College is excited to be part of the Digital Festival. The College is dedicated to addressing the digital skills gap and digital poverty that exists within our region, by investing in our digital offer, and the experiences, education and facilities our students can enjoy.

“Our newly refurbished SciTech Digital Innovation Hub provides facilities to enable us to deliver an exciting new digital curriculum. Our young people are the key to addressing the digital skills gap and upskilling the current workforce is also a vital consideration for employers as we begin to build back better. We continue to work hard to promote that agenda too through apprenticeships, T levels and other professional training courses.”

David continues,

“We are proud that SciTech Digital Innovation Hub is a partner of The Seam, working in collaboration to further expand and enhance our excellent digital facilities and strengthen Barnsley’s digital reputation.”

Tracey adds,

“Great things happen when good people with good ideas get together and get creative. We love to say yes to good ideas and, let’s face it, what’s a better idea than a great big stonking festival that celebrates all the great stuff that’s going on? 

“We are really keen to see Barnsley folk joining in and hosting virtual events as part of the Festival, and if you want to collaborate with us then just get in touch!”

You can find out more about our headline Sponsor, The Seam, on the website: and stay up to date on Twitter, Instagram and Facebook.

Posted by Sheffield Digital Festival on 16.10.2020