Bristol: The UK’s Digital Capital

Written by Steve Phillips | Blog | Candidates | Clients | Digital Technology | Posted 04/01/2018 14:17:04

Bristol is booming. As the advancements in tech continue to change how we live and work, Bristol is positioned as the only ‘fast-growing and globally-significant high tech cluster in the UK’ (McKinsey & Co, 2014). Over the past few years the accolades for Bristol as a Digital City include:

Bristol has always had an impressive portfolio of tech employers and has revelled in the contrast of corporate super powers such as EE and HP with local success stories like IMDB and Aardman Animations. Over the past few years these established names have been joined by an influx of exciting tech companies who have chosen to make Bristol their digital home. These range from global tech giants such as Oracle and Cray, fast growing tech ‘scale ups’ like Just Eat, Strava and Cookpad and a whole host of innovative startups, housed in Incubation Hubs like The Engine Shed.

Why Bristol? In a recent interview, Tomo Yasuda, Managing Director of Cookpad, explained why the tech company chose Bristol as its‘ Global HQ; ‘it was vital that we found a location that fostered innovation, a high calibre of talent and a thriving tech community – not an easy checklist. However, Bristol appeared to have it all.’ That checklist included:

  • The Bristol / Bath region is firmly embedded in the flourishing digital-tech sector
  • The largest concentration of silicon designers outside of Silicon Valley
  • The opportunity to learn and recruit from the region’s diverse talent pool
  • Four world-class universities in Bristol and Bath
  • Quality of life; ‘a fascinating cultural mix, good schools, exciting redevelopment, community spirit, a buzzing culinary scene and beautiful surrounding countryside
  • Great transport links, both on the train in to London and globally through the International Airport

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There are now over 70,000 people in the region employed in tech fields and reportedly over 80 people migrating from London to Bristol a week, a sign that growth is only set to continue. Plans have been approved for Engine Shed 2 which will continue to support digital startups. Andrew Perkins, senior partner at EY in the South West, recently said: “The city is finally punching above its weight and is expected to be one of the fastest-growing UK cities over the next three years."

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