Local partnership highlighted in list of national digital leaders

The Essex + Herts Digital Innovation Zone (DIZ), a cross-border, cross-sector partnership to promote digital services and delivery across west Essex and eastern Hertfordshire, has been selected as one of the country's top 100 Digital Leaders.

The #Digileaders100 list initiative, which backed by a number of government departments and major digital companies in the UK, is created by public vote and celebrates the teams and individuals who are working hard behind the scenes to secure the UK's Digital Transformation.

The DIZ has been selected in the Cross-Sector Digital Collaboration of the Year category and the final placings and category winners will now be decided by a public vote which runs until 14 August. Anybody can vote by going to https://digileaders100.com/cross-sector-digital-collaboration. The winners will be announced in October.

Digital Leaders is a shared professional online space and face-to-face programme for leaders across all sectors promoting effective, long-term digital transformation.

Chair of Digital Leaders, Russell Haworth, said: "The Digital Leaders 100 list 2020 once again highlights the progress in digitally transforming the UK. Our community of Digital Leaders have shone a light on the many hidden heroes, quietly getting on with the nation's digital transformation. It is fabulous to see such a strong list from outside London this year reflecting our own inclusive national programme and the growing importance of digital transformation on companies irrespective of size or sector."

Chairman of the DIZ and Epping Forest District Councillor, Cllr Alan Lion,  said: "This This is fantastic news from Digileaders, a globally recognised body, and recognition of the partnership work that has been going on across our combined geographies in recent years. The DIZ is looking at how we can develop a smart place across widespread mixed urban and rural economies, rather than focusing on a single town and, as such, is a unique and genuine collaboration driven by District Councils that works across borders and sectors. Being on the leading edge of digital change. We are attracting infrastructure investment and looking at innovative ways to deliver better services for our residents and businesses."

Vice-Chair of the DIZ and Leader of East Herts DC, Cllr Linda Haysey, said: "Digital is transforming the way we live, work and play. It offers endless possibilities to transform the way we provide services and promote our economic resilience at this very challenging time. We don't want our place to be left behind as the digital agenda moves forward and the DIZ is about us coming together to make the most of the opportunities of the digital revolution and manage some of its challenges for the benefit of our people."

The DIZ is made up partners from Essex and Hertfordshire representing local government, health, education, community and voluntary service and the private sector. It covers the districts of Broxbourne, East Herts, Epping Forest, Harlow and Uttlesford. The partnership has worked to attract additional investment including for broadband infrastructure particularly in rural areas, with an announcement on additional investment in healthcare services expected shortly. It has also run a series of knowledge exchange seminars examining digital approaches and impacts for key local challenges, conducted exploratory research on new ways of delivering services and promoted the area as a location for digital investment.

More information on the DIZ is available at www.diz.org.uk.

9 June 2020