Many years ago, if someone had said that the North of England would be one of the best places for tech firms in the country then you might have laughed. Now, however, the North East of England looks set to become one of the rising stars when it comes to technology.
It must be noted first of all that the North East has a lot of prowess when it comes to technology. Right from the off, there are five universities in the area with, proportionally, the largest number of students in STEM subjects in the UK, meaning that there’s a fine crop of graduates ready to enter the world of work. In addition, there’s also going to be a steady flow in the following years which means employing good quality candidates shouldn’t be an issue. What’s more, when it comes to infrastructure, the North East is proud to benefit from mightily efficient road, rail and even metro networks, as well as links to international airports which allows for easy access to the rest of the world. It’s certainly worth noting how interconnected the region is.
The North East is also home to the UK’s only Innovation Supernetwork which brings together over 5000 North-Eastern businesses to allow them to collaborate and work on the next big thing. It utilises funding from the EU’s Regional Development Fund to allow these exciting projects to take shape, and as it’s the only one in the country, makes for a unique opportunity for tech businesses to get involved in. You never know, one of the next big things might just be right in front of you and you just haven’t realised yet.
On a bigger scale, the North East is already home to some prominent organisations such as the UK Government’s offices for both the DWP and HMRC, as well as British Airways and Nissan, which has a manufacturing plant in Sunderland. The Japanese car manufacturer has been in the region since 1984 and employs roughly 7000 people, making it a large player in the North East’s digital scene. Moreover, despite downsizing elsewhere, Nissan has said that the Sunderland plant will play a key role in the manufacturer’s future abroad – it might just help in shaping the next few years ahead. The continued attraction of such key players certainly means that the region has experienced some noteworthy growth in the last few years and looks to continue to do so.
It’s not just in the North East where technological innovation is picking up the pace. In the South, Cambridge for instance has experienced some stellar investment in the last few years. Firms such as Google and Apple have set up in the ‘Silicon Fen’ area. Cambridge faithful ARM is best known for manufacturing the BBC Micro back in the eighties and providing a large proportion of the smartphone market with processing units. They have been taken over in recent months by American graphics powerhouse Nvidia for an eye-watering $40 billion. As much as this looks to be a statement of intent from Nvidia against rivals AMD, it represents a form of confidence from the Americans in the future of British business, not least one of the fastest-growing tech firms in the country. Expect to see this filter through into the North East.
Whether it be in the flesh or online, certain sectors of the tech industry have seen vast growth themselves, such as online casinos. The North East is already home to some big players in the casino world in locations such as Newcastle, Sunderland and Scarborough, amongst others. In addition, as time has passed and with the introduction of technology such as HTML5 it means that casinos on the web have become more prominent in the entertainment sector, especially thanks to the fact you don’t always need high-end graphics to draw customers in. This means that there’s an awful lot of competition out there for customers to pick from which has led to the creation of comparison sites where you can go to find some of the best gambling sites. These comparison services give each site a star rating and rank them on various criteria – including each one’s welcome bonus and free spins offers. Comparison sites of the kind are of course nothing new, but their very existence in such industries means they must be doing something right.
The North East has definitely cemented itself as one of the UK’s fastest-growing regions when it comes to technology. This is not least thanks to the residencies of some of the country’s biggest firms, as well as swathes of sustainable start-ups and useful initiatives to bring ideas together. It certainly looks like a good time for the North when it comes to tech, and there’s doesn’t seem to be a better place to be on that front.