Shoreditch has long been home to creative media types, but with the “Tech City” initiative it’s becoming more closely affiliated with tech companies than ever before. David Cameron first unveiled his plans for “Tech City” in November last year, and since then the initiative has snowballed. The initiative is backed by UK Trade & Investment, and although it’s in its early stages, the effects are already tangible; tech company numbers have exploded from 200 in November 2010 to around 600. “Tech City”, dubbed the “Silicon Roundabout”, is the English equivalent of Silicon Valley in the US. As Europe’s fastest growing technology cluster, it has drawn interest from start-ups and multinationals alike.
September saw Google take out a 10 year lease on a property in Bonhill Street, which it plans to use as an innovation hub, which attests to the pull of “Tech City”. The commitment of serious players to the scheme will maximise the impact of the “Tech City” initiative, accelerating and accentuating its transformative effect. The planned creation of a Future Cities Centre in Shoreditch, following Cisco’s pledge to partner with Imperial College London and UCL, will only enhance this pull. The centre will facilitate collaboration between academics, start-ups and better established businesses. Professor John Polak, from Imperial College London, envisioned the centre as “a new research powerhouse to drive the Tech City initiative”.
The consolidation of Shoreditch as a tech hub has cemented Shoreditch’s status as a popular property hotspot. While the influx of new companies has seen prices rise, Shoreditch still represents an attractive option for start-ups, who have access to various incubation spaces, and a Shoreditch location confers many additional benefits.
Along with providing networking opportunities, a Shoreditch address projects the right image to potential clients and investors, ensuring businesses are tagged as fast growing tech companies. A Shoreditch address also enables businesses to capitalise on the hype generated by the “Silicon Roundabout” initiative, and benefit from free marketing. The very branding of Shoreditch as “Tech City” has ensured copious amounts of media attention, generating business and conferring credibility.
With access to Europe’s biggest venture capital community, entrepreneurs are well placed to grow their tech companies in Shoreditch. Employee attraction and retention are also likely to be bolstered, owing to Shoreditch’s extensive amenities, excellent travel links and on-trend image. As a by-product of this, companies will have access to some of London’s best tech-centric talent. The cumulative effect of these benefits makes Shoreditch a highly attractive prospect. With all eyes upon “Tech City”, which is set to become a melting pot of talent, the value of a Shoreditch postcode is likely to continue rising.
If you are interested in a tour of Tech City then please contact the team at Shoreditch Office Space.