Last month, Middlesbrough Mayor Andy Preston and Tees Valley Mayor Ben Houchen announced a £45 million pound development of a digital campus (three 20-storey towers for apartment and office blocks), kick-starting a wider £250m investment in the digital and creative industries to make Middlesbrough “the first digital city in the UK”.

Since the news broke, we have spoken to Davies Tracey clients in the industry about both the opportunities and challenges should their ambitions echo the growth to be created by this transformation of Teesside’s skyline.

Neil Kidney, a director of Teesside-formed but now London-based Seed Animation (whose online showreel is well worth a watch), a Davies Tracey client since 2015, says:

“I think the plans for Digital City (DC) will be a great boost for the area, and another big milestone in putting Middlesbrough on the digital map. As a start-up we were one of the first companies to use the existing DC facilities and they were a huge help in our early days. The new plans look fantastic, and if we were doing it all again in the North East, it looks like a no-brainer to get involved with DC.”

Niall Bradley, Accounts Associate at Davies Tracey, with a client portfolio rapidly expanding with businesses involved in the technology, digital and creative sector, shares Neil’s excitement, but also highlights why it is important for the businesses involved to select an accountant with the relevant expertise. He says:

“This fast-growing sector is already seeing many start-ups enter the market, and the mayor’s plans will encourage more, given the new commitment to adding resources and infrastructure in Middlesbrough.

But whether branching out into a new business, or setting out ambitious growth plans for an existing one, this huge step comes with unique accounting needs and knowing where to go for sound advice can be a difficult task.

Finding a chartered accountant that you trust with your plans can be daunting, especially when seeking advice in the early days when cash flow is limited. But seeking advice early is exactly what will prevent any possible challenges ahead, protecting your business from risk, saving time and – above all – money in the long run.

When dealing with fast growing organisations, we make sure we understand a client’s business now and as they see it in the future. We are aware of the statistic that 60% of new businesses in the UK will go-under within three years, and truly believe the right specialist advice is crucial to a business’ success. We urge the businesses involved in the Digital City to choose carefully when considering which accountant should support them.”

Niall’s experience makes him perfectly suited to support the digital and creative sector. Having a pre-accounting background in Graphic Design, Niall is educated to degree level in this subject and has knowledge of design software, HTML and coding, and a keen interest in app development. He is currently bringing his technological adeptness to Davies Tracey by streamlining our quotation process using a digital tool (more news on this to come).

As one of the largest independent accountancy firms in the Tees Valley, Davies Tracey has the capacity to stay with you as you grow.

More on the team can be found online. Alternatively speak to Niall at or on 01642 606003.