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Digital Union welcomes Tombola, Sunderland College and Narrative Comms

The UK’s largest online bingo company and I’m a Celebrity Get Me Out of Here sponsor Tombola has joined the ranks of the North East’s largest network for creative and digital businesses.

With over 300 employees, a headquarters in Sunderland and offices in Madrid and Milan, the gaming company has been confirmed as the latest member of the expanding network, Digital Union, as it bids to increase its profile and business support opportunities throughout the region.

Tombola – one of the largest employers of game and web developers in the North East of England with expansion plans throughout Europe next year – has said it is delighted to have joined the organisation and has urged other regional tech businesses to get on board to encourage new growth and talent development for the sector.

The news comes on the back of the announcement that Sunderland College will also become a member of Digital Union after its Executive Director said the time was right to join a like-minded network to support the next generation of creative and digital talent in the region.

Tombola Culture Executive, Louise Bennison, said: “There is an extremely strong tech scene here in the North East and we want to play an active role within it to raise all of our profiles on a global scale.

“We’re already contributing to the economy right here in the region and the UK and Digital Union is leading the way and doing an incredible job of opening up new doors for the businesses it represents.

“It has great contacts, is doing amazing things to develop businesses at all stages of their life cycles and we want to be part of its future. We are, after all, stronger together and we believe that it shares many of our core values.

“We may be a national company but not many people are aware that we’re actually based on Wylam Wharf in Sunderland. To be part of Digital Union connects us to the region and will help us raise our profile here and make people aware that we have many employment and career opportunities going forward.

“It’s not all about putting Tombola first, it’s about the region and we believe in many principles such as opening the doors to get more women, for example, involved in tech and promoting diversity and we think Digital Union can assist with our drive.

“We also have fantastic graduate opportunities here at Tombola and we want to raise awareness of this, too.”

Meanwhile, Iain Nixon, Sunderland College’s Executive Director for commercial activity – who comes with over 20 years’ experience in the public and private sector – has said it’s his responsibility for implementing a college-wide business development strategy and growing apprenticeship provision in the North East.

“This is a very exciting opportunity for us as it opens up a network of like-minded businesses who can share best practice and insight into the rapidly evolving landscape of the digital and tech sector,” explains Iain.

“Digital Union offers its members a raft of benefits through its strategic and profile-raising approach, and we’re delighted to partner with this forward-thinking and dynamic organisation.

“We will be working closely with Digital Union to promote careers in the sector to the next generation, support businesses through a range of training and educational options, and ensure young people are armed with the skills and knowledge they need to join the sector.”

“Digital Union and its members have a common goal and that is to fly the flag high for the North East’s creative digital and tech sector, which will ultimately help to secure the industry’s long-term prosperity.

“It is important for the region to have an organisation that understands, supports and actively promotes the sector, and Digital Union’s fast-growing membership reflects the calibre of its work. We would encourage other organisations to join this organisation which has the interests of its members at the heart of everything it does.”

Meanwhile, Aimee Muirhead, Managing Director of leading Sunderland PR firm Narrative Communications, which have also joined Digital Union, added: “It’s important that our team continue to learn and meet other people inside, and outside, the industry in order to develop a team that is agile and outward-looking. We want to share our experiences and skills with others, but we also want to meet great minds and learn about innovative projects happening on our doorstep.

“It’s very important to have organisations like Digital Union to not only create the space and creative opportunities for like-minded businesses to thrive, it is important that they can keep up the momentum for generating change and progress within the region.”

Powered by Generator, Digital Union is the largest collective of creative and digital businesses operating in the North East of England.

It supports and champions all members and believes that by working together, the North East digital sector can lead the way.

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