COUNCILLOR Sean Anstee, the former leader of Trafford Council, has joined a global tech company to help Manchester become the Silicon Valley of the UK.

Cllr Anstee was appointed CEO of a new division at Manchester-based Telecom Group, a tech start-up which hopes to turn Manchester into the UK’s first ‘hypercity’ — completely connected by high-speed fibre-optic networks.

Cllr Anstee was unseated as leader of the council when the Conservatives lost control of Trafford in May’s local elections.

Cllr Anstee said he had no plans to step down as councillor of the Bowdon ward and intends to complete his term, which runs until 2020.

He said: “Telcom is a Mancunian success story and I’m looking forward to working really hard to help the company grow even faster in future and make a huge contribution to improving connectivity across the country.

“It is one of the most exciting technology companies in Greater Manchester and it is on a mission to change the UK’s internet. The opportunity to be part of that, and all of the transformational benefits this offers, was too good to turn down.”

Cllr Anstee said his new role continues the work he began at Trafford Council 10 years ago in realising his vision for Trafford’s future.

He said: “This role complements the values I hold in politics, those of enhancing community, empowering people through inclusive growth and creating places that are fit for the future and grow well.

“Digital connectivity is important to businesses in Trafford. The borough is already the beating heart of Greater Manchester’s economy, being home to Trafford Park, intu Trafford Centre and thriving town centres. We’ll shortly be welcoming UA92 in to the borough and its vital to me that all businesses have access to the best possible connectivity to compete globally and all our people are positioned to access the employment and wellbeing opportunities that provides.”

Shaun Gibson, Telcom Group CEO, said: “We are delighted to welcome Sean to the Telcom family and are excited to realise our vision of universal access to affordable ultrafast internet.

“Sean brings with him strategic political insight and commercial experience in the financial services sector.

“Following a successful period as the leader of Trafford Council and vice chairman of the Greater Manchester Combined Authority with portfolio responsibility for skills, employment and a digital city region, Sean is well placed to lead the group into the next phase of growth.”