Due to its beautiful seaside setting and entertaining pier, tourism and hospitality have long been the key industries providing local employment for Brighton. But now might be the time to put away the Brighton rock and bring the cookies, because over recent years the bohemian town has transformed itself in to a hub for the technical world.
Statistics by the Centre for Cities Outlook 2015, the economic index of the 64 largest cities and towns in the United Kingdom, found that Brighton had the highest number of start-ups per capita outside of London in the previous year.
These numbers were published less than a year after the City Deal for the Greater Brighton City region was agreed by the government. This deal aims to invest £170 million investment in the region to attract and develop technology businesses further and to create over 8,500 jobs. Brighton has even been ear-marked to start playing a larger role on the international market and some are now referring to the region as “Silicon Beach” – a British response to San Francisco’s well-known technical hub “Silicon Valley”.
Brighton’s tech cluster has grown from almost non-existent a decade ago, to a total of over 1,500 businesses today. This is strong competition for Tech City, the capital based hub in the East End. It’s said that Brighton-based companies have even started to draw in talent from London; a trend that seems particularly suited to the tech industry. In today’s digital age, most businesses have a fast and reliable broadband connection, allowing them to reach out globally and for talent to remain mobile and work remotely. As a result of this, new companies no longer need to be based in a major city to achieve their full potential.
Of course, there are other benefits to having your offices in Brighton too. Business rent is cheaper than it is in the capital, the commute to work can often be completed on foot or bike and the liberal reputation of the town attracts a large workforce of creatives. And then there is the option of lunch on the beach, of course.
Around Town: Digital Events
Brighton is not only marketing itself as a technical workplace, but as a destination for networking and learning too. The city hosts large conferences, such as The Eco Technology Show and The Digital, Media & Tech Jobs Fair.
The Brighton Digital Festival, supported by the Arts Council England, is a month-long annual event that celebrates all things digital. Wired Sussex, a membership organisation for Sussex-based companies and freelancers operating in the digital, media and technology sectors, plays a key part in the tech community. Their website offers information on training and networking events. Brighton Farm is a regular networking event for Brighton’s media and tech freelancers.
If you are a tech professional looking for a job in or around Brighton, you could visit Zoek and start applying for your dream job TODAY. For further information on local employment, please visit our Zoek Info Hub.
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