Innovative software hub sets up in Sunderland

Adam Hill and David Van der Velde from Consult and Design

SUNDERLAND is set for a software first, with the launch of an innovative new hub designed to spur on the growth of a tech community in the region.

Sunderland Software Centre will soon be home to the first ever Drupal Hub thanks to the collaborative spirit of tenant Consult and Design International, a keen advocate of Drupal, a globally popular open source software. The launch of the new Hub comes at the same time of the release of the hotly anticipated launch of the new Drupal 8 software, on November 19.

The Drupal Hub will act as a drop-in help centre for those using - and looking to use - the Drupal web-building software.  The new hub builds on Sunderland’s reputation as a driving force for the Drupal community, after the city played host to two successful DrupalCamp events held at the City Council’s £10m Sunderland Software Centre, attracting Drupal developers from across Europe to the city.

Adam Hill, a director at Consult and Design, which has contracts both nationally and internationally, said: “We’re very excited to get Drupal Hub up and running.  We want it to be a space where the global Drupal community feels supported and at home.

“The eventual aim of the hub is to put the venue at the forefront of people’s minds for world-class Drupal events, positioning it as a space that regularly attracts global audiences and that truly supports the development of the Drupal code and community.  And in turn, we think this will help Consult and Design, and other North East businesses, to attract the most talented people possible”

Consult and Design’s Drupal Hub, established in partnership with MAKE it Sunderland and Sunderland Software City, will run a regular day time drop-in event and will play host to various established Drupal events, bringing the region’s Drupal community together to collaborate and contribute to the software.

To celebrate the launch of Drupal Hub and the release of Drupal 8, the Consult and Design is hosting a special event at the Sunderland Software Centre on November 19 from 5pm. The event is open to anyone interested in finding out more about Drupal Hub and Drupal 8 and will provide drinks, nibbles and presentations from Drupal developers.

The announcement of Drupal Hub’s launch comes after Bob Paton, former chief executive of the North East Local Enterprise Partnership, called on more businesses in the North East to embrace new technologies, like the Drupal software, to maintain the region’s competitive advantage.

Mr Paton, who was keynote speaker at the last Drupal event in Sunderland, said: “It’s important that companies in the region know about Drupal and other innovative open source software in order to continue to thrive.

“The Drupal movement is developing at such a fast pace through its approach of collaborating, and those values should be celebrated across our region.

“Having a space like Drupal Hub is great news as it’s providing the chance for businesses to explore the possibilities that this software can open to them.  I’m sure that Drupal Hub will be a catalyst to the growing number of agencies, clients and in-house teams using Drupal in the North East and further afield.”

Drupal Hub will host various events as well as provide regular sessions, including Drupal Training Days, Drupal User Group meets, Drupal Sprints and the Drupal Academy which provides intensive training for users of all abilities.

Councillor Paul Watson, leader of Sunderland City Council, said: “Sunderland is at the heart of a region with a thriving technology community, and spaces like the Drupal Hub are really helping to put the city on the map as a great place for software and digital businesses.

“We’re delighted to support Consult and Design, and other businesses in the city, to expand their offering and aid their industries.  The Drupal community promotes collaboration and shared best practice and that is something that we are delighted to get behind.”

Anyone interested in attending Drupal Hub can visit www.drupalhub.uk for more information, or followe @TheDrupalHub. For more information on Drupal, visit www.drupal.org.