A DRIVE is under way to “shout about” about Dorset’s digital, creative and technical sectors.

Silicon South – the body set up to support the industry locally – launched its Silicon South Network a month ago and has seen 75 sign-ups.

The organisation says the network was set up in response to “multiple calls from different companies that the sector needs to shout about itself much more loudly”.

The not-for-profit initiative is led by the industry with the aim of helping it recruit top talent and engage the interest of customers.

Silicon South director Anthony Story said: “We are extremely happy with the progress in just our first month. We’ve had some big hitters from around Dorset join the network and together we are promoting Dorset as a hive of activity in the digital, creative and tech (DCT) sectors.”

“We’re delighted by the active support the supporters are giving. They’re showing a strong belief that by working together we have a much better chance of promoting the sector and turning that into direct benefits for everyone. Of course, we’d love more companies to get on board. Together we can put the Bournemouth sector on a par with the UK’s other major DCT centres.”

Benefits for supporters include being added to a searchable industry database, so anyone looking for specific expertise can find them; invitations to directors’ dinners; access to career development groups for anyone in their workforce; “meet the buyer” events and a jobs board.

In its first month, the network has announced the inaugural tech sector meet-up to bring founders and directors together. They will set an agenda to push tech interests in the region around Bournemouth.

It has introduced the head of investment for Creative England – a leading investor for creative companies – to several supporters. And it has begun promoting the interests of the sector and Silicon South supporters to the digital, creative and tech community in London, Bristol and beyond.

Supporters have formed two working groups. A talent working group is working on a strategy to improve the engagement of talent, both from the local universities and at a senior level. A business working group is developing a plan to better engage local customers and raise the network’s profile nationally.

The 75 initial sign-ups include 18 fully-fledged members with a combined turnover of £18million and specialisms from marketing to AI.

Liz Batley, client services director of Scholar Web Services and a Silicon South supporter, said: “To have Silicon South championing digital, creative and tech businesses in the region is hugely important. Bournemouth is well known for its stunning coastline, but we have some absolutely amazing tech businesses doing some inspiring work as well. It is no longer a sleepy seaside town, but a bustling place to live and do business.”