Manchester Digital was founded in 2001. We celebrated the tenth anniversary in 2011.
The idea of forming an association for new media businesses was first put forward at a lunch hosted by the inward investment agency MIDAS on 13 December 2000. MIDAS invited people from businesses across the digital sector, including web design, advertising and ISPs. Among the guests were Tony Wilson - a passionate advocate of the digital sector in Manchester and later regular host of the Big Chip awards, Dave Carter, now head of MDDA, Annie Millar of Millaer Seal who invented Big Chip in 1997, Jon Keefe of KMP and Shaun Fensom of Poptel.
A follow up meeting on 3 April 2001 agreed to set up an association. Andy Spinosa of Spin Media agreed to act as chair, and various people volunteered to form a steering group.
The name "Manchester Digital" was put forward at the second meeting of the steering group. The company Manchester Digital Ltd was not set up until March 2002.
The founder of the Big Chip Awards, Annie Millar asked Manchester Digital to take over running of the awards in 2002.
In October 2003 a new structure was adopted with an elected council that appoints a smaller board to run the day-to-day affairs of the association.