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Bridging the digital divide

Bridging the digital divide

It’s barely a few hundred yards, but might as well be 100 miles. MediaCity in Salford Quays, Manchester, is one of the biggest digital tech hubs in the UK, benefiting from almost £2bn of investment in recent years – but try telling that to many of the young people living nearby.

The city’s economy is booming yet almost a quarter of Salford’s children live in poverty. It is one of the most deprived areas in the country: household debt is on the rise, there’s been a 72% increase in homelessness since 2013 and almost a third of students are eligible for free school meals.

The contrasting experiences of these disadvantaged young people growing up on Salford’s crumbling estates and the young professionals working in digital startups a few streets away are acute. The digital divide is measured by more than metres.

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