Blog submitted by Clare Jones of Prime Office Space
When we think of UK tech hubs, the first place that springs to mind is London and maybe Cambridge, but in recent years, we’ve been witnessing massive growth in an unexpected location, Wales.
Wales, once famous for its Coal mining and slate quarrying, is becoming a popular location for budding technology entrepreneurs.
So what is causing businesses to ditch the big smoke for the rolling hills of Wales? From cheaper running costs, to the fact that nearly £115m of venture capital has been invested in Welsh start-ups in the past 6 years, Wales certainly seems like a superb locale for any earnest business owner.
Here are 5 reasons why Wales really is the perfect location to start a technology start-up:
- A Growing Tech Scene – Wales’ technology scene is rapidly growing, both thanks to the high calibre of IT graduates from Swansea University, and the accumulation of small and medium-sized businesses in the area. It is reported that 80 technology-based start-up companies have received £60m from Finance Wales within the last 10 years. Clearly, start-ups can be supported in Wales, in a way that perhaps is not quite possible in overcrowded London.
- Less Competition to Attract and Retain Top Talent – Many start-ups in larger cities find themselves failing due to the inability to attract and retain the best possible talent – after all, when there is a larger market and more competition, it can be incredibly difficult to gain the interest of the best possible candidates, and once you do have them, trying to prevent them being poached by competitors can be a challenge. We already know that Wales boasts an excellent talent pool in the form of graduates from Swansea and other Welsh Universities, so taking advantage of this wealth of fresh, motivated and excited expertise, can only be a positive for any business.
- Wide Variety of Properties – Wales has a wide variety to offer when it comes to business premises – and often at very competitive rates. The broad range of properties available in Cardiff, for example, can provide an excellent location for lower overhead costs than a business owner might find in London, or other popular European cities.
- Space to Grow – Another key factor in Wales’ growing popularity with start-ups is that the area provides ample space for businesses to scale up and expand. This doesn’t just mean space to grow physically by moving to larger premises and hiring more employees (something that is more difficult to achieve in more competitive areas), but rather, there is also room to create new products or services and corner the market with less rivalry.
- Better Quality of Life – Cheaper property costs than London (not just for business premises, but for the average home and living costs too), less-crowded public transport and more scenic greenery, either on your doorstep, or a short car ride away, depending on where you decide to set up camp! Anyone can see why the obvious beauty of Wales is attracting businesses away from major UK cities.
And don't even get me started on the welsh cakes!