EASTBOURNE MP Caroline Ansell has been speaking about the importance of digital companies locally.

“There were some very welcome, positive indicators around the performance of the economy this week, and the growth potential of digital enterprise in Eastbourne was the theme at a number of business events in town.

Thanks to our beautiful natural environment, record sunshine hours and cultural scene, our position as a top visitor destination will always be our strength but a decade ago and more, Tech Resort was born out of a recognition we could forge another identity as a serious digital hub.

Lightning Fibre is laying miles of digital vermicelli under our feet. It is estimated that Eastbourne is home to digital nomads from 100 countries.

And the digital economy is good for all our businesses too with great local companies such as Switchplane supporting businesses with digital solutions.

You only need to visit Racquet Studios, an extraordinary virtual film production studio at the Winter Garden to see how an Eastbourne business will help build on Eastbourne’s competitive advantage as a conference destination and film location.

With average wages in Eastbourne below the South East and UK average, developing this highly skilled sector and its opportunities for local people is hugely important.

Harnessing the power of tech will help us face some of the biggest challenges of the day too as evidenced in the £100m sea defence project by the Environment Agency to combat climate change and rising sea levels.

Tech is a UK success story and the sector retains its no 1 spot in Europe, 3rd globally. Tech will be key to achieving one of the Prime Minister’s top 5 priorities in growing the economy. Figures forecast that the digital sector could expand by an additional £41 billion by 2025.

There are of course real challenges and issues to acknowledge with this new technological dawn. That’s why tackling the digital divide and protecting children and young people online have been so important to me.

But there’s a bright digital future out there for us to reach for.”