Bournemouth is known for a lot of things. Whether it’s for having over seven miles of beautiful sandy beaches¹, being the one of the largest financial sectors in the UK² or being one of 2 areas in the UK where the average age of the population is getting younger³, it offers a lot to its inhabitants.
But what is becoming more prevalent, is the speed at which the creative and digital sector is growing - in fact, according to the 2017 Tech Nation report, Bournemouth has the fastest growing digital economy in the UK! But why is this?
Not only does Bournemouth have an endless list of award winning agencies like Redweb, Media Lounge, 3 Sided Cube and Greenwood Campbell, but it also inhabits a startup community where innovation is nurtured and celebrated.
In the first of a series of posts on Bournemouth's growing digital economy, we look at what infrastructure there is in the surrounding area for digital startups.
BOX 44 is a Coworking Space dedicated to Tech Startups. Existing members include graphic designers, web developers, video production companies, digital marketing professionals and software developers to name a few. Therefore, open to all professions.
Not only do they offer desk space to exciting new businesses, but they also offer technical, marketing and mentor servicing support with incubation initiatives like Seedhub.
On top of this support of digital startups, Box44 has a fully stocked members bar, and hosts a variety of events throughout every month including:
- Startup Grind
- WordPress Bournemouth
- TedTalk Tuesday
As a result, Box44 has grown a reputation for growing and nurturing startups, enabling them to be successful in such a competitive environment.
To find out more about Box44 find more info on their website.
Silicon South is a “not-for-profit organisation dedicated to accelerating the digital economy in Dorset”. Backed by funding from the European Regional Development Fund, Silicon South deliver projects, manage investment, nurture new talent, and encourage cross-industry collaboration to make Dorset the best place for digital and creative organisations to thrive.
Most noteworthy, with their funding, it is seen that they will, in the long term, provide 3,500 high paid and high skilled jobs in Dorset, generating over £400 million in salaries, and contributing over £200 million back into the public purse by 2020.
To find out more about Silicon South and their offering please find more on their website.
For the creative community in Bournemouth, Meetdraw is the “must-attend” quarterly event of the area. Celebrating the values that the local digital community has, it is somewhere where digital creatives can “talk about and share collective passions. For everyone, no matter what they do or what stage they are in their career”.
From humble beginnings, to reaching attendees close to one thousand people, the event comes together thanks to fourteen “butchers”, the committee of volunteers who put everything together. Having put on thirty four events so far, they look to host an event that is always challenging the success of the last.
Home of Bournemouth's Virgin Startup program, THIS Workspace is located in the heart of Bournemouth. It is where freelancers and small businesses can rent space on a monthly rolling contract.
Created by THAT Group, the collaborative venue has been stripped back and restored back to its 1930s fixtures, with its beautifully tiled floors uncovered and iron beams exposed. In addition to this, all room names in the building reflect its newsprint heritage with the main ground floor area being called The Foundry.
*THIS Workspace - Ground floor (The Foundry)
To find out more about THIS Workspace find out more on their website.
In conclusion, it's very easy for us to see why Bournemouth's the fastest growing digital economy in the UK.
The collaborative community Bournemouth is unique: It ushers away a lot of ego and buzzword driven business that you can find in other digital clusters, and celebrates when businesses experiment with the latest in innovation and disruptive technology. It is because of this attitude that the above initiatives in this article truly shine.
As a digital consultancy based in Bournemouth, we are hugely excited to see what is round the next corner for the conurbation. It seems that freelancers, startups and agencies have an ecosystem that accommodates their all there needs (and more). It is because of this that we see a lot of startup success stories in the near future.
With that in mind, if you are from Bournemouth please feel free to share your success stories with us. Or if you are based outside of the area... Fancy a trip to the beach?
Get in touch if you do.
As mentioned, this is the first of a series of articles looking into Bournemouth's growing digital economy. Next time, we will reviewing and detailing some more of the "must attend" events that the area hosts regularly. These will include "You are the media" - Lunch Club, Open Sauce, Mobile Dorset and also Silicon Beach.
See you then!