London’s much heralded ‘Tech City’ was supposed to become a major part of the capital’s legacy following the 2012 Olympic Games but a report from Think Tank London has discovered that entrepreneurs have been left ‘frustrated’ by government policies.
The report concludes that government plans to move growing IT businesses to the Olympic Park area have proved to be ‘counterproductive’ as disproportionately escalating rents force start ups out of the area.
Amidst the furore, more and more IT companies of all sizes have been migrating to the North West where Manchester is rapidly developing itself as the UK’s high-tech hub.
Most famously, the BBC has moved a major part of their operations from London to ‘New Broadcasting House’ within the MediaCityUK complex at Salford Keys where they will shortly be joined by ITV’s Granada Division.
"The city of Manchester has seen a number of companies, including Cisco, open up shop as they prepare for the technological revolution that is now taking place within the North West region,” said Scott Fletcher, Chairman and Founder of cloud infrastructure specialists ANS Group plc.
Manchester is already home to many globally trading companies such as PZ Cussons, The Co-operative Group, Umbro and the Peel Group (key developers of MediaCityUK). Multi-nationals like Kelloggs, Adidas and Siemens also have UK headquarters in the city.
Such a density of global companies fosters a burgeoning digital sector and the North West boasts the second-largest ‘digital cluster’ in Europe and is probably the fastest growing industry sector in the UK.
Scott Fletcher believes that working in close proximity with top-tier partners like Cisco and NetApp - who are both based in the area – has been responsible for ANS Group’s development of the next-generation of cloud based IT solutions.
"These advances in technology mean that we can build stateless, fluid IT infrastructures that can deliver far greater computing power for a reduced spend. All businesses seek to reduce costs and maximise productivity and the cloud can deliver for them,” said Mr Fletcher.
"It is the commitment to excellence that has attracted an already-huge amount of investments into the exciting new projects going on in Manchester. London - in the UK’s technology world at least - is rapidly becoming yesterday’s news,” he said.
ANS Group has seen its market share surge since the launch of its Infrastructure 3.0 FlexPod architecture. 3.0 has accounted for over 50% of the total FlexPod solutions sold in the UK to both private and public customers.
Fletcher remains determinedly bullish for the future: "We plan to continue to stay ahead of the curve in order to offer a secure and stable platform upon which to build for every future network and cloud-computing need. But this can only happen if we have a strong community that is devoted to the same vision, and I believe we’ve found it in Manchester.”