We’re told banking and BREXIT go hand-in-hand, but even if financial institutions press the ‘esc’ key, taking staff with them, there are new tenants and opportunities waiting in the wings.
For every one negative press article discussing the possible relocation of banks away from British shores are two pieces of good news relating to the thriving tech sector. It’s an industry relocators can’t ignore, with research by Tech City showing that digital tech industries are creating employment opportunities that account for 1.56m jobs.
This year got off to a flying start with news from Snapchat, confirming it will open an international HQ in Soho, close to its existing four-storey presence in Central London. The move prompted a bold statement from the BBC’s technology correspondent, Rory Cellan-Jones, in the Evening Standard: “The announcement does signal that post-Brexit London, with its skilled workforce, its strength in advertising and its relatively low tax rates will remain a very attractive location for tech firms, especially those that aren’t moving physical goods across borders. And as the EU cracks down on sweetheart tax deals in Ireland and Luxembourg, the UK may look even more attractive.”
New tech openings are a reoccurring theme around London, with Google confirming in late 2016 plans to expand its offices in London’s King’s Cross, creating 3,000 new jobs in the process. It was a piece of news issued at the same time as Facebook’s creation of 1,500 jobs at its new Fitzrovia office, and Apple revealing plans to expand into Battersea Power Station, with enough space for 3,000 employees (even though it is only moving 1,400 to start with). So it comes as no surprise that the capital was voted the number one city to start a tech business by the European Digital City Index.
Opportunities, however, aren’t confined to London with other major cities fostering new tech businesses and welcoming established companies. Edinburgh, Norwich, Bristol, Liverpool and Manchester are a handful of cities were creative and tech quarters have taken root, boosted by an increasingly mobile workforce and a supply of savvy graduates. And if those gradates can’t find the right employment opportunities, they’re busy incubating their own start-ups, supported by people like Tech North – a hub that accelerates growth of digital businesses in the North of England, Media City in Manchester, Cardiff Start, Silicon Canal in Birmingham, SyncNorwich and TechCube in Norwich, and Engine Shed in Bristol.
With the post referendum landscape far from certain, maybe it’s time to broaden your target market with a distinctly tech flavour?