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Secrets of Success: What makes a vibrant creative & digital hub?

The Digital Media Centre (DMC) in Barnsley is award winning for its activities

Here are 10 secrets to its success…

#1 – Leadership

Appoint a person or people with vision and commitment who can make things happen. Provide them with some budget and a supportive team and management structure.

Tracey Johnson, DMC Project Director for Barnsley Council is the driving force behind the DMC today

#2 – Baseline

Measure the baseline activity and your outputs, so you can demonstrate when you have an impact. To secure grant funding, investment and sponsorship, it’s important to make the business case.

The DMC was awarded a Local Government Chronicle award in 2017 for business transformation

#3 – Customer Focus

Put your customers first, including tenants in your building and people visiting. Have an open door policy to make people feel welcome. Where feasible, allow business and community groups to make use of the space.

The TechTown Barnsley group get creative and technical

#4 – Spaces

Create an environment where people feel relaxed and enjoy spending time. The way a space is designed can have a big impact on culture and productivity.

#5 – Support

Offer business support and access to finance to start-up and growing businesses. At the DMC, this is provided by the Sheffield City Region Launchpad team and the Enterprising Barnsley team.

#6 – Connections

Develop your network. Make regional, national and international connections. Look out for collaboration opportunities and how to create mutual benefit. Apply for funding and sponsorship to make projects happen.

The TechTown URBACT Action Planning Network has been a key part of the successful development work in Barnsley

#7 – Youth

Connect with local schools and colleges and engage young people in enterprise and technology activities. Help to encourage their creative and design thinking. And get grown-ups to explore their creative and technical skills too!

Caroline Gorski of Rolls-Royce, speaks to students from Horizon College about their ’TeenTech City of Tomorrow’ projects

#8 – Events

Run an exciting programme of varied events, with informative and cutting-edge content. Ensure they are tailored for your audience and tell as many people as possible about them! Start small and build up.

Connected Healthcare is part of the DMC’s ‘Connected’ series, linking businesses with the power of digital technology to enable innovation and growth.

#9 – Coffee

Ensure good coffee is on tap! The DMC invited a start-up coffee bar business to locate in the building. It’s now a key part of the building’s community and provides a focal point in the DMC.

Julie Hine runs the Ground Hand Pulled Coffee Bar daily in the DMC.

#10 – Fun

Don’t forget to have fun! The DMC has table tennis and a games room. This gets people moving around, taking a break and connecting too.

Thank you for reading the DMC’s 10 secrets of success. We’d love to hear your experience of setting up a digital hub on the TechPlace forum!
Take a look at these videos to find out more about what goes on in the DMC & the team behind it all…