Home to a thriving community of dynamic tech-creative businesses, Brighton and Hove is the start-up capital of the UK at the heart of an exciting digital revolution. Welcome to the new Silicon Beach.
Modern Brighton is a serious alternative to London: in addition to the supportive business landscape, it offers a vibrant cultural scene and high quality of life all within a stone’s throw of the Blue Flag beach and South Downs National Park.
With 2,000 fast-growing tech companies – rivalling East London’s Tech City – Brighton is a hotspot for the Creative, Digital and IT sectors (CDIT). It has the highest proportion of creative small to medium enterprises (SMEs) in the country. With nearly 80 production companies, the games segment is especially well represented and rivals even Paris and Amsterdam. Three-quarters are start-ups businesses. Other strong areas include renewable tech, artificial intelligence, augmented reality and advanced engineering.
According to the UK Tech Cluster Group, “The city’s pulsing creativity, and disruptive, community-led spirit has powered the city’s start-up culture and growth in gaming, e-learning and emerging technologies. With Warner, Epic, Cision and more all acquiring local start-ups and scale-ups, it has become recognised as a place where tomorrow’s ground-breaking creative technology ideas are being nurtured today.”
A HOTBED FOR CREATIVE THINKERS AND ENTREPRENEURS
The Green city is a hotbed of creative and forward-thinking, abounding with entrepreneurs and self-starters. With the average resident in their mid 30s, it has a young population that’s well educated – 46% of residents of working age have a degree qualification or higher compared with a national average of 38%.
There’s a huge pool of skilled freelancers while the city’s two universities attract a talent pool of 22,000 at the University of Brighton and 18,000 at the University of Sussex, many of which choose to build their life in the city after graduating.
According to Brighton and Hove City Council’s Invest In Brighton team, “The people of Brighton and Hove are its biggest asset, bright minds creating the best innovative cutting edge ideas in technology science and the art.”
The city also offers a supportive environment for growing businesses with initiatives supported by local and national government such as Digital Catapult from the Coast to Capital LEP, the Sustainable Business Network, Brighton University’s Green Growth Platform and local initiatives such as Wired Sussex, The Farm and Silicon Brighton networks that help companies and freelancers to build their business.
For quality of life, Brighton topped MoveHub’s survey to find the hipster capital of the world, beating cities like Portland, Seattle and even Lisbon in the tongue-in-cheek Hipster Index. “We looked at 446 cities across 20 countries. That’s 2,834 record stores, 7,772 vegan eats, 14,588 tattoo studios, 15,549 vintage boutiques, and 93,203 coffee shops covering a combined population of over 200,000,000 people,” the US property site revealed.
A coffee shop, global tech company and a Japanese restaurant are among the first businesses to set up in the city’s new £130m Circus Street quarter. Completed by specialist regeneration property company U+I, the greenfields site brings 30,000 sq ft of Grade A office space along student accommodation, housing and delightful green spaces to the city centre. Up the road is a second regeneration site, the £300m Preston Barracks, home to the ground-breaking Plus X Innovation Hub.
Circus Street is the first new-build office space to be completed in Brighton since 2016. Built next to the bustling North Laine area with is cafes, bars and boutiques, it’s already attracting companies who want to set up shop in fantastic accommodation in a great location complete with sweeping views of the sea and surrounding countryside.
– More than 90% of premises have ultra fast broadband speeds of 100Mbps vs a national average of 53%.
– The city is one of only nine in the UK with a 5G test bed facility to help digital businesses develop new products and services.
– Brighton and Hove is and 56 minutes by train from London, 30 minutes from the UK’s second-busiest airport at Gatwick and just over an hour from London Heathrow.