During the London Technology Week, which Boris Johnson recently opened with a ‘blizzard of statistics’, attention turned to the City that is claimed to be ‘the most important tech hub in Europe’. With a 46% increase in the digital technology sector since 2010 and an employment number of 200,000, it can be seen as no surprise that the number of digital technology businesses is expected to rocket from 40,000 to 50,000 within the next year. A clear explanation for this is that London gives businesses global funding, which is essential if you’re trying to build a global company.
East London currently has the largest concentration of start-up businesses, however further afield areas such as Croydon are beginning to emerge as hubs for digital businesses, bucking the East London trend. This may be due to appealing rent costs with office space in Croydon at least 40% cheaper than what is seen in East London.
Croydon is not alone, several different locations are becoming recognised for their specific hubs within the digital technology sector. These include the Olympic Park which has developed a hub for broadcasting companies such as BT Sport. Furthermore, Soho has increased in this sector specifically with an increase of film, TV and effects companies based here.
Areas even further afield are also seeing huge increases in the number of digital start-ups, with digital contractors and freelancers following suit. One example being Media City UK in Manchester. This whole area has been purpose built for the digital and creative sectors, some even regard Media City as being the creative hub of Europe. Again, start-ups find the area so attractive due to vastly reduced rent costs in the area compared with the Capital.
‘Tech City’, which is also known as Silicon Roundabout, was originally where start-up businesses chose to locate. However, Tech City faces fierce competition from other areas of London, and the UK, as companies are locating where office rent is largely reduced. In addition to this, the status of the location is largely under threat due to a shortage of affordable homes as well as pressure on the infrastructure in London.
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