What comes to mind when you think of Bournemouth? Probably a vibrant – a popular place for tourists to visit as well as being ideal for both beach-loving students and retirees, looking for a quieter and more peaceful way of life.
But did you know that it also has one of the UK’s fastest growing digital economies? While you may be quick to think that London would be the digital capital of the UK, new reports have shown that the digital economy is actually booming outside of the capital. In fact, 74% of digital firms are now based outside of London, with Bournemouth, Liverpool and Brighton emerging at the very top.
The study commissioned by Tech City – the Government-backed organisation charged with accelerating the growth of the UK digital economy – is the largest to ever be conducted on the UK’s digital sector and the first time the UK’s digital businesses, including employment figures and areas of specialization, have been comprehensively documented.
Digital has grown at a rapid speed – with 50% of digital companies in the UK being founded since 2008. Initially London was at the heart of this industry, but as the digital world continues to grow, it is doing so further afield. Now almost three quarters of digital companies actually operate outside of London.
While London does remain the most significant employer in the digital economy – with more than 250,000 jobs – there are around 45,000 jobs being advertised. Of these, 62% are outside of London – a key factor for this is the soaring property prices and transport costs.
The study also found that digital job growth is expected to outperform all other occupations by 2020, with 1.46 million – 7.5% of the UK workforce – already employed in digital industries.
Bournemouth may not be the digital capital of the UK – but it has experienced the fastest growth and is among several areas that are becoming key players in the world of digital, including Liverpool, Belfast, Greater Manchester, Brighton, South Wales, Bristol and Bath.
So, if Bournemouth is sounding like the perfect location for you to set up your digital company, then it is time to start looking for office space. If you are making the two-hour move from London, then you may want to look at your in the town, to make the move much quicker and easier.
Not only will you be in what is already emerging among the new digital capitals of the UK, but you could also be looking out of the window as you work, onto seven miles of golden sandy beaches and sparkling blue waters, rather than being surrounded by grey high-rise buildings.