The Tees Valley is a hotbed for digital tech innovation, with a super cluster emerging in Middlesbrough.
Middlesbrough and Stockton were collectively listed amongst the top five creative clusters in the UK by the ONS Business Structure Database, with an average of 65 startup births per year (2011-2015).
Middlesbrough was profiled as a digital cluster in the Tech Nation 2017 report, with 6,970 digital tech economy jobs and an average digital GVA of £211 million between 2013 and 2015.
Middlesbrough’s Boho Zone is the digital, creative, and business hub of the Tees Valley. Made up of seven buildings, between them they accommodate everything from start-ups to the multimillion pound turnover stalwarts of the Tees Valley digital scene. In a central location, the self-contained hub crucially accesses ultra-fast broadband are all factors in its resounding success. Not only are the companies here the stars of the national digital industry, they are also the font of digital solutions for a multitude of other market sectors.
DigitalCity brings together all of the digital knowledge and support in the Tees Valley. An award-winning initiative, based on a longstanding private-public partnership led by Teesside University, DigitalCity has been instrumental in providing professional support to the thriving digital cluster, including a stream of innovative start-up and spin out companies. The programme supports digital and non-digital businesses, providing specialist advice on innovation, growth, funding, and finance. Find out more about DigitalCity.
Middlesbrough’s Historic Quarter is one of the Tees Valley’s 12 Enterprise Zones. Enterprise Zones are part of the government’s Industrial Strategy aiming to support business growth across the country.
Each Enterprise Zone is unique, building on the strengths of its surrounding area and support industries such as manufacturing, emerging technology and renewable energy.
Eligible companies looking to locate to the Enterprise Zone may qualify for up to £55,000 a year of rate relief over five years.
Companies will need to demonstrate they belong to the digital technology or creative sector and how their business intends to grow over the next five years.
Download the Tees Valley Enterprise Zone Business Rate discount form.
“I studied at Teesside University here, and later started Animersion with a partner in the graduate incubation unit at the University. The DigitalCity programme the University runs alongside the Council has been crucial to our success. The mentoring support at the incubation unit was very helpful. It’s very engaged and helped create a pipeline of development for digital companies.
We moved to the Boho Zone about seven years ago. It’s a truly digital office so we have the space we need for our VR work and there’s excellent broadband connectivity and the fit out specs are flexible. We have close relationships with other digital companies nearby and it’s very easy to access because it’s near the train station. The area has absolutely been part of our success. We’ll always have a base in Middlesbrough, it’s the perfect place for what we do.”
– Dominic Lusardi
Managing Director, Animmersion UK