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‘The pace has been set and it’s only going to accelerate’ - Norwich’s tech community contributes £148m to the economy

07:00 11 February 2016

Representatives of some of Norwich's tech firms look forward to the Tech Nation report release.
PHOTO BY SIMON FINLAY

Representatives of some of Norwich's tech firms look forward to the Tech Nation report release. PHOTO BY SIMON FINLAY

ARCHANT NORFOLK

Norwich’s place at the heart of the digital revolution is revealed today in a new report which lays bare the growing strength of the city’s technology sector.

Representatives of some of Norwich's tech firms look forward to the Tech Nation report release.
PHOTO BY SIMON FINLAYRepresentatives of some of Norwich's tech firms look forward to the Tech Nation report release. PHOTO BY SIMON FINLAY

The study shows how digital firms contribute more than £148m to the UK economy, with a turnover that has grown by almost 22pc in four years.

It also found that more than 5,300 are directly employed in city tech firms and that Norwich is fast becoming one of the country’s best locations for start-up firms.

The report has been compiled by Tech City – a group set up by the government to encourage the growth of the UK’s digital economy – and is intended to give a snapshot of the sector’s health in several British cities.

Fiona Lettice, professor of innovation management at Norwich Business School, welcomed the findings and said digital technology businesses were now powering Norwich’s economic growth.

“The pace has been set and it’s only going to accelerate. But’s not just technology businesses powering the growth. Everyone will have to gain a better understanding of tech because it will be driving change in a lot of different sectors.”

It is the second time Norwich has been included in a Tech Nation report, after the strength of the sector saw it included for the first time last year.

Ipswich has joined the group of so-called “tech cities” for the first time this year.

Click here to read the full report

The report follows the recent unveiling of a project to create a technology corridor along the A11. Experts believe the area between Norwich and Newmarket could become a centre for innovation and technology, in the fields of engineering, agriculture and manufacturing.

However, firms in the sector have identified obstacles to further growth in the area, including a skills shortage.

Neil Garner, founder of co-working venue Whitespace in St James Mill, near the city law courts, said: “The more we do, the more people will come back from London and realise there’s great companies and great jobs here. Then they will come and create more great companies and great jobs.”

The new report showed the average salary in the digital technology industry in Norwich was £36,098, and the cluster was best for education, access to commercial property and local networks.

This year’s report varied from previous years, as it was based on Travel to Work areas, which altered geographical boundaries.

The Tech Nation 2016 survey received more than 2,000 responses, with 1,797 surveys completed.

Colleen Walker, chairman of Norfolk County Council’s economic development sub-committee, said the council was proud the region was included in the national rankings.

“This report will further highlight the incredible growth rate of this cluster of businesses,” she added.

Mark Pendlington, chairman of New Anglia Local Enterprise Partnership said: “This is a massive vote of confidence in our tech companies that are demonstrating brilliance and proving that Norfolk and Suffolk are among the best places in the UK where digital entrepreneurs and established businesses can have the space to be innovative and grow.”

Are you launching a new technology business? Call sabah meddings on 01603 772879 or email sabah.Meddings@archant.Co.Uk

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5 comments

  • I have read the report Huw and Tom. I would not wish to denigrate the efforts of those involved in IT but the headline and comments of this article are misleading. It seems that almost any company or organisation that uses IT can and is included and to link it to further and future businesses along the so called A11 corridor is a very big leap of optimism. For example, education is included within the figures and of course they should make best use of information systems but is IT really empowering them as a driver for growth? Pretty much all businesses make use of IT in one way or another and those use it effectively do no doubt benefit. Lots of soundbites and cliches being used in the article and the report and I would not for one moment wish to say or imply that IT is not important because it is. Well done to all those who are making sure that it is used to best advantage. But don't lets over hype this publicity release.

    Report this comment

    andy

    Friday, February 12, 2016

  • There is a difference between proper tech and webs design-development and thrashing out boring samey parallax websites ten to the dozen.

    Report this comment

    Resident Smith

    Friday, February 12, 2016

  • Ignore him Huw. He's not interested in anything remotely positive. He thrives on bile and acid

    Report this comment

    Tom Jeffries

    Thursday, February 11, 2016

  • For John L Norton - you can read the full report here http:www.techcityuk.comtechnation - it includes links explaining the detailed research that went into compiling the nationwide report. Part of that research involved a survey of over 2,000 tech companies. This is good news for Norwich, Norfolk and The East.

    Report this comment

    Huw Sayer

    Thursday, February 11, 2016

  • How do they come up with these figures ?

    Report this comment

    John L Norton

    Thursday, February 11, 2016

The views expressed in the above comments do not necessarily reflect the views of this site

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