Digital Lancashire has appointed industry heavyweight Duncan Sandford as its new managing director.

Sandford will focus on skills, networking, knowledge and events as he looks to accelerate and mature the digital economy within Lancashire.

A membership-based organisation, the firm is a hub for recognised digital sector expertise and thought leadership for many private and public sector organisations – including institutions, employment and training groups – linking them together to create tangible economic value in the region.

Sanford has more than 20 years’ experience in the digital sector, as both a business owner and consultant.

After graduating in economics, Sandford worked in several blue-chip companies before venturing into the agency world, holding board positions in numerous agencies and advising and working with venture capitalists. He also founded and managed his own digital and data agency for 14 years.

“We’re at a crucial stage in our plans to promote the high-quality digital businesses and organisations in Lancashire and through collaboration with many of the key skills and knowledge partners and a program of highly relevant, regular events, we are confident of raising the profile of businesses, skills and achievements worldwide,” said Digital Lancashire chairman Tom Stables.

“We have a fantastic story to tell and a digital workforce that is pioneering real innovation and attracting investment.”

Sandford added: “There is a big educational challenge to communicate, clarify and change the perceptions that exist about digital, how powerful it can be and how vital it is that we achieve heavy investment into every aspect of the sector.

“We have exciting programs of events and workshops planned over the next two years and will work tirelessly to link digital, industry and economic value.”