It should come as no surprise that London’s Silicon Roundabout is home to a lot of tech firms, but the staggering number of them in the postcode has been revealed. There are 3,228 tech firms in just EC1V, according to new figures, which outstrips not just the rest of London but also the UK.
London’s tech revolution is an amazing success and one that has attracted talent from all over the world. For the past two decades it was Silicon Valley where those with a burgeoning idea went to set up shop, working alongside other creatives to get their tech idea off the ground. Now, increasingly, it is London where they move to.
At the start of London Technology Week it was revealed over the past five years, London the number of digital companies in the city has increased by 46% on the previous five years. It’s created 30,000 new jobs and represents 3.5% of the capital’s workforce.
It’s worth big money too. FinTech, the blending of finance and technology as London’s tech community builds greater ties with The City, has seen its first billion pound investment. The sector itself is the fastest growing creative, tech and digital sector in Europe.
This growth has had a significant impact on the surrounding neighbourhood. Shoreditch, Brick Lane, Old Spitalfields, Old Street and up towards Liverpool Street have become much more in demand and vibrant, with millions in regeneration and refurbishment as the area copes with an influx of new creative companies looking to rent office space, buy flats, entertain clients and socialise after work.
Clarendon has invested in the area too, just as bars, restaurants and businesses have. With serviced apartments in Brushfield Street, Artillery Lane, Steward Street and Minories towards Tower Bridge, there is space and scope for those relocating to work in the tech sector, or working on contracts and needing an apartment for an extended stay. The extension of our property portfolio to cater for the tech and digital sector shows its growth in demand for space for a relocating workforce, emphasising its growing appeal and graduation into the realms of traditional commerce.
Yet the question has to be asked, can this last forever? London’s Tech scene is largely based on a younger workforce, under 45 certainly, many of whom can’t afford to live in the centre of London. The ability to establish creative businesses within the capital means costs have to be low as reduced overheads reduce risk for start-ups. Expensive commuter and travel costs along with high living costs could, eventually, deter companies from setting up within the postcode. It could increasingly price people out as it becomes more popular.
The growth of London’s tech community has been a boost for business, providing vital buoyancy during the economic downturn. It has helped to attract a vibrant business community to the capital and the popularity around the Old Street roundabout, in Shoreditch and brick Lane has ensured property there is in demand. Yet it does come with a risk, in that popularity can lead to some individuals being priced out, which can affect its future growth.