Essex and Hertfordshire Digital Innovation Zone (DIZ) scoops top award for collaboration at UK digital leaders event.
DIZ beat off stiff competition to take the top award in a UK-wide contest for digital partnership working.
Cross-Sector Digital Collaboration of the Year winner
DIZ was kickstarted by Epping Forest District Council back in 2016. It emerged as the winner in the Cross-Sector Digital Collaboration of the Year category after a final round of judging. A previous public vote had put the DIZ in the top 3 organisations of its kind in the country.
Announcing the award, last week, Neil McKeown from Neueda – an organisation providing digital solutions for business – praised the DIZ for its great breadth of engagement across both public and private sectors, describing it as an exemplar for regional development and collaboration that could be usefully replicated by local authorities across the UK.
The award follows closely on the news that in the midst of the Coronavirus pandemic DIZ has secured £1.7m of government funding to support 80 GP practices across West Essex and East Herts with ultrafast, fibre broadband to boost the delivery of digital health care at this challenging time.
- Read our news story Digital project for GP surgeries to benefit thousands
Doing something very right locally
Cllr Alan Lion, Lead Member for Digital at Epping Forest District Council and Chair of the DIZ praised the tremendous efforts of the team saying:
This award is testament to both the approach and the hard work of the widest range of partners across the 5 district councils over recent years.
Given the size of some of the competing organisations the fact a small local partnership working on a limited budget could compete and win, shows we are doing something very right locally.
Support the recovery of the district
Cllr John Philip, Finance & Economic Development Portfolio Holder added:
This award is really great news for Epping Forest and the DIZ partnership. DIZ has strengthened our local digital infrastructure for the benefit of the local economy, job and wealth creation.
Here in the Epping Forest district, new ways of working, allowing people to work from home and remotely, brings environmental benefits of less traffic pollution and carbon emissions in support of tackling climate change … one of our key strategic objectives.
Crucially, it also brings better health services for local people as we battle Covid and support the recovery of the district.
EFDC was at the forefront of the DIZ creation and is chaired by one of our members.
Digital leaders awards
The Digital Leaders #DL100 Awards celebrate individuals and organisations from public, private and non-profit sectors who are demonstrating a pioneering and sustainable approach to digital transformation in the UK.
The DIZ partnership is made up of local government, health, education, business and community groups and voluntary sector bodies across west Essex and east Hertfordshire, with the aim of becoming the best-connected place of its type in the UK. A place of innovation and inclusion where the benefits of digital investment are harnessed, maximised and shared across residents, commuters, businesses and borders.
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