A graphic from the front cover of the Greater Manchester Local Industrial Strategy showing the BBC headquarters in Media City, Salford

We’re the helping the GMCA understand local open data needs – so tell us!

In summer 2019, GMCA (Greater Manchester Combined Authority) launched the GM Local Industrial Strategy to help set long-term priorities for our regional economy, ultimately to ensure good jobs and better public services locally.

This was the first of such local plans in the UK, created after a consultation with local people and reviewed by expert analysts, and it highlights the importance of data – including its use and re-use – to places like Greater Manchester.

Open data was found to be a strategic priority, particularly its potential to help support transport changes in pursuit of a greener society, but more generally, so it can be used by anyone to make life better for everyone.

At the time, GMCA said that: “The assumption will be that data that can be made available should be made available, unless it is prohibitively expensive or not appropriate (for legal, commercial or security reasons) to do so.”

Open Data Manchester has now been asked to fulfil the region’s ambition to understand how open data is currently being used by different sectors, what value it brings, what open data needs there are, and find out any accessibility issues or challenges.

To do this, we have six focus groups over the next month, covering academia, business and the voluntary sector. We will also have a survey that anyone can contribute to now.


Business sector – Register to attend.

  • Session 1 – Tuesday 24th November 2020, 10-11.30am
  • Session 2 – Wednesday 25th November 2020, 2-3.30pm

Voluntary and charitable sector – Register to attend.

  • Session 1 – Tuesday 24th November 2020, 2-3.30pm
  • Session 2 – Thursday 26th November 2020, 10-11.30pm.

Academic sector – Register to attend.

  • Session 1 – Wednesday 25th November 2020, 10-11.30am
  • Session 2 – Thursday 26th November 2020, 2-3.30pm.

Note: We’re running 2 sessions for each sector, but they’re be covering the same information – you only need to attend the one session.

If you’re unable to attend any of the focus groups, you can still let us know by filling out the online survey.