Jon is CDO for the City of Salford leading an ambitious vision to position Salford as a truly Digital City across infrastructure, inclusivity, skills, enterprise, health and smart city integration. He will determine strategy, priorities, themes and investment areas that will make a difference to Salford’s economy and its collaborative digital role in Greater Manchester. Salford is racing to become one of the world’s most attractive cities for digital enterprise – in 2017 it surpassed London to become the UK’s leading city for percentage increase in start-up growth and is expected to have the fastest job increase rate in Greater Manchester. Most recently Jon has been instrumental in co-ordinating a 5G Innovation Hub at MediaCityUK and in helping to establish the UK’s first operational commercial 5G network with partners VodafoneUK.
Previously, Jon set up The Landing MediaCityUK, a groundbreaking technology and business innovation hub housing over 90 companies. The Landing is a unique blended environment of co-work and technical space and is a driver of digital collaboration across Manchester and other UK clusters. In 2016-17 The Landing contributed £89m GVA to the UK digital economy.
Key achievements include: establishing a vision, business plan and model of operation for this unique SME facility; forging a new type of working relationship with public-private stakeholders across GM; establishing a contextualised brand identity for The Landing and achieving 100% tenant occupancy within 5 months of launch.
In addition Jon has helped set up and shape a new education institution at MediaCityUK – the University Technical College (for 14-19 yr old students) – which opened in Sept 2015. As Chief Executive UTC he was instrumental in the formulation of strategy and delivery for the UK’s first purpose-built digital college.
In 2009-10 as Director of MediaCityUK for the University of Salford he spearheaded the fit-out and technology platform of the University’s iconic new digital campus.
With a background in Creative Direction and Production Jon has successfully delivered a multitude of national and international film and rich media projects for such clients as The Home Office, The British Council, Unesco, BBC, CBS and Shanghai World Expo amongst many others. His detailed knowledge and expertise spans broadcast, post-production, interactive and advertising.
As an entrepreneur Jon set up the highly successful River Media production studio in 2002, quadrupling its income and growth in the first 2 years of operation. He has since supported many tech and digital creative companies to become scaled businesses and has mentored over 120 companies since 2012.