The UK’s thriving digital economy is about much more than Shoreditch, Cambridge and Manchester as like-minded organisations ‘cluster’ together in towns and cities across the country. Every day this week we are training the spotlight on a lesser-known area.
Liverpool was named as one of the UK’s top five fastest-growing clusters in the 2015 Tech Nation report, ahead of inner London.
The city is particularly notable for its games development and benefits from a rich history in that field dating back to the mid-80s.
There are also growing clusters focused on the Internet of Things (IoT) and health tech, as well as a strong ecosystem of mobile app development and creative agencies.
Baltic Creative is one shared workspace helping to provide world-leading infrastructure to digital entrepreneurs.
Kevin McManus is the head of creative and digital (investment) at Liverpool Vision, the city’s economic development company.
“The Baltic typifies the sector in Liverpool with a host of really varied and dynamic businesses, many still on the small side of SME,” he said.
“In terms of inward investment we are getting lots of interest because Liverpool has started to put itself on the tech map for the first time with the likes of the Tech Nation report and the success of Baltic.”
As reported by BusinessCloud, Baltic Creative recently added nine new studios.
A small but growing cluster of education and health firms are also located in the Liverpool Science and Innovation Park.
“As with everywhere else the talent pipeline is something we keep working on,” he added.
“But we do also keep hearing of people who are from Liverpool or who studied or worked here coming back because it is a great place to work and live.
“There is a real need for an appropriate investment fund for digital businesses and it’s something I’m looking at in Liverpool.
“I helped a number of businesses get RGF money to support their growth but that was only relevant to some companies and was difficult to access.
“We need a dedicated and appropriate investment fund.”