While the field of open data is not new, it is becoming apparent how little it is utilised at a hyperlocal level: only 4% of 18,000 data sets in direct.gov.uk come from the 326 local councils. The Media Mill project aims to drive the development of open source, open data platforms in Leeds and York; enable collaboration between all partners to identify ways that local data can be transformed into media experiences (with an emphasis on mobile) that have value for citizens; and support research into the various business propositions that surround the project with a view to sustaining a thriving hyperlocal media ecology for the city-region.

The MediaMill project is at the heart of a wider open/big data agenda being driven in Leeds by a consortium of partners who operate at a hyperlocal level as media producers, researchers, data scientists, hackers, web engineers and entrepreneurs: hacking local data, for local good. Working together we intend to transform small data into local media content and experiences, predominantly aimed at mobile, that help citizens understand the places in which they live, improving their lives and active engagement in the community; and that help councils improve performance.