Ipswich digital tech cluster recognised in Tech Nation report
PUBLISHED: 08:28 11 February 2016 | UPDATED: 08:28 11 February 2016
Digital businesses in and around Ipswich are worth nearly £200million to the local economy and employ nearly 10,000 people, according to a new study.
Ipswich is a new entry in the 2016 Tech Nation report, due to be published today, which aims to highlight the UK’s leading clusters of technology-based firms.
Research for the report shows that the turnover of digital firms in and around Ipswich grew by 24% between 2010 and 2014.
The sector’s contribution to the local economy, in terms of Gross Value Added, grew by 16% to £190million while employment in the sector rose by 3% to 9,981.
Ian Buxton, chair of Innovation Martlesham, the cluster of more than 70 businesses based on and around BT’s Adastral Park research facility at Martlesham Heath, said: “We are very pleased that Suffolk has been recognised as one of the leading digital tech clusters in the UK as part of Tech Nation 2016.
“Suffolk’s world class telecoms and software heritage has been expanded by the significant growth of digital tech businesses and start-up SMEs, particularly in Ipswich and at Innovation Martlesham.”
Despite the presence of Adastral Park, Ipswich did not feature in last year’s inaugural Tech Nation report, although both Cambridge and Norwich were included.
Mark Pendlington, chairman of the New Anglia Local Enterprise Partnership said the addition of Ipswich this year was “a massive vote of confidence” for the region’s technology sector.
“Having both Norwich and Ipswich celebrated as digital clusters in the Tech Nation report recognises the East as a hub of creative endeavour and excellence,” he added. John Dugmore, chief executive of Suffolk Chamber of Commerce, said: “Genuine collaboration between local companies is a key part of what makes Suffolk a great place to do business.
“Suffolk tech networks, such as the IP-Network, Sync Ipswich and SIMS are excellent champions of the local tech community.
“We welcome Suffolk’s listing in Tech Nation and the chamber, working with all our partners in this key sector, will work hard to capitalise on this heightened exposure for Suffolk in the next 12 months.”
Colin Noble, leader of Suffolk County Council, added: “The high response rate to the Tech Nation survey from digital businesses across Suffolk demonstrates the deep-rooted ambitions of the local tech community.
“Putting our tech cluster in the spotlight nationally will further support and champion Suffolk’s growing tech start-up businesses, attract funding for innovation spaces and help with talent retention.”