About the SCN

Sheffield has a rich history of entrepreneurship, creativity and innovation... 

Today’s creative talent in the city is finding expression through creating digital media content and the development of digital platforms and technologies. 

Sheffield Community Network is a programme of work to ensure that new digital opportunities extend into disadvantaged communities through social enterprise and the creation of facilities for digital access and participation. 

Sheffield Community Network project is supported financially by the European Union. The project has attracted £2.3 million investment from the European Regional Development Fund as part of Europe’s support for the region’s economic development through the 2007-2013 Yorkshire and Humber ERDF Programme. 


PROBLEM STATEMENT 

 

PROBLEM #1

Low rates of self-employment in the South Yorkshire sub region over the last decade (below 10% against a national average of 14%)

Continued reliance on large employers, albeit in new sectors such as retail and construction.

 

PROBLEM #2

Risk of social exclusion e.g. currently unemployed, female, from a black minority ethnic group and/or have a disability.

 

PROBLEM #3

Successful utilisation of previous investment:

• Regional Broadband

• Creative Exchange South Yorkshire

• Sheaf Training Centre  


PROJECT ACTIVITIES

SCN-Outputs

    DIGITAL CONTENT INFRASTRUCTURE

    • Development of a Digital Content Exchange

    • Digital Media Hub

    • Virtual Community Network

     

    RESEARCH AND INNOVATION STRAND

    • Community Internet Access Review

    • Research Projects which focus on Virtual Enterprise in the Cloud

    • Digital Media on the Move

    • Physical Computing


    DEDICATED SOCIAL ENTERPRISE SUPPORT

    • Two dedicated grant funding rounds

    • Establish Digital Media Centres within Community Settings

    • Provide Equipment for Social Enterprises with a digital focus

    • Business support and advice

    • Project Outcomes

     

     

    SCN INFRASTRUCTURE

    • A Digital Media Centre structure of 12 separate centres across Sheffield serving areas of socio-economic disadvantage.

    • Circa £500,000 of ICT equipment available for public access


    SCN CREATIVE CAPITAL

    • Knowledge sharing and practical advice sessions attended by over 500 people

    • Enterprise content avaiable on the project website

    • Final project evaluation

    • Action Research reports into Virtual Enterprise in the cloud, Digital Media on the move and Physical Computing

    • Newsletters reflecting advice and guidance available to small businesses and social enterprises. A successful, coherent and innovative method of working between the public, private and voluntary sectors