Digital Union: news in brief

Digital Union: news in brief

We catch up with members of the North East’s Digital Union, to find out what’s making the news in their world.

Digital Union Expands into Sunderland 

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. 

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

Meanwhile, Aimee Muirhead, marketing 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.”

Time to join the Mile Eyes Club 

A new app designed to help businesses easily track and manage all business mileage and expenses was launched this week by Newcastle-based development studio, Powerhouse Software. 

MileEyes, available on Google Play and Apple, automatically track journeys via its GPS function providing a simple but powerful way for users to claim what they’re due and remain compliant.

Many businesses are not able to manage mileage in a reliable and accurate way, with large numbers of employees being unable to produce proof for journeys that they have taken. MileEyes makes it fair for both employer and employee.

Powerhouse Software CEO, Dan Smith explains: “MileEyes works well for both large and small businesses, whether the focus of the business is driving or otherwise. From quick, local trips by one employee, to regular, long journeys for several individuals, MileEyes has a plan suited to any driver.

“Whilst MileEyes tracks your driver’s journeys, you can track all journeys submitted in the MileEyes dashboard. Here you can review, accept, and reject journeys, see a real-time business and driver overview, and export your expenses data, either to CSV file or through any of our effortless integrations.”

Innovative Digital Export Course For Businesses Heads to County Durham 

A unique opportunity for businesses with a base in County Durham has launched this month offering them the chance to attend a range of innovative, expert-led courses over the next four weeks. 

If you think you could be interested in exporting now or in the future, organisers of the event are encouraging companies like yours to make the most of this exciting programme which is running for a limited time only. 

The course offers the chance to book a 121 exporting strategy for all businesses in attendance and is part funded SEO by one of the region’s leading search agencies. All courses are free and businesses can attend as many as they like. 

The Durham digital initiative is a pilot project operated in conjunction with North East World Wide’s “Enhancing North East Presence in Overseas Markets”. 

The project is part funded by the European Commission’s European Regional Development Fund and the UK’s Department for International Trade.

More about the programme can be found at

Evolved Digital Nominated for Top Search Awards 

The Newcastle based SEO company Evolved Digital has been nominated at the UK Search Awards in London for Best Low Budget Campaign: Wooden Toy Shop, Best Small SEO Agency and Young Search Professional of the Year in the form of Tom Etherington.

Last year’s awards saw the agency win ‘Best SEO Campaign in 2016‘ for their work with automotive site Select Car Leasing which utilised a combination of rich content, user-generated pieces and PR campaigns. 

This contributed to a jump from 7th to 1st in organic visibility, a year-on-year increase in organic traffic by 464% and organic queries by 231%.

Cavu Corporate Finance and Ward Hadaway advise Kykloud Limited on the sale of software company

Cavu Corporate Finance and the Newcastle team of Ward Hadaway law firm have provided advice on the sale of Kykloud Limited to the US-based software company, Accruent.

Based in North Shields, North Tyneside, Kykloud is a global provider of asset management and mobile building inspection software. Founded by Ed Bartlett and Nick Graham in 2011, and supported by Northstar Ventures Limited from its Finance For Business North East Accelerator and Proof of Concept Funds since that date, the software enables intuitive and easy-to-use physical resource condition assessments on mobile devices.

The deal, which was led and structured by Cavu Corporate Finance with Ward Hadaway providing the legal advice means Kykloud will now become part of US-based Accruent, with founders Ed and Nick continuing in their roles as part of the enlarged group.

North East's creative & digital sector come together for manifesto gathering

In a bid to tackle some of the big challenges faced by the regions creative, digital and tech businesses, Digital Union will publish its first manifesto in April for its members.

Powered by Generator, Digital Union -the North East's largest network of digital and creative businesses - confirmed it is inviting members to a collaborative event this month so that those at the forefront of the industry can have their voices heard and decide on what the manifesto will contain.

Access to business support, investment, talent, and working spaces are likely to be some of the big themes and issues of the day when the organisations first members manifesto meet takes place at Northern Design Centre on Wednesday, 31st January; an event Digital Union's Networks Manager Rachel Peacock, is keen to get underway.

She said: “We’re inviting all our members and key organisations to come and have their say about business challenges in the region. We want to see how Digital Union can play a part to plug any gaps and campaign for change.

“We're using this event to work with the local authorities, LEPs, and educational institutions to ensure they are doing as much as possible to support and promote the growing North East creative, digital and tech sector.

“With the help of our members, we also want to outline what the priorities are for us at Digital Union, so that we can get on the campaign trail and bring problems to the fore and work with partners to produce much needed solutions.”