One of the region’s flagship digital hubs is gearing up for the next wave of tech pioneers.
Over the last decade Middlesbrough’s Boho Zone has become a trail-blazer for digital start-ups with a truly global reach.
From its beginnings in the state-of-the-art Boho One, the cluster has grown as a beacon of 21st Century enterprise.
The town is now home to an ever-growing range of highly skilled companies ranging from film makers and international gaming and app developers to highly innovative companies leading the way in virtual technology.
And now the Boho Next Generation initiative has been launched to ensure Middlesbrough and the wider Tees Valley are in pole position for the next phase of growth.
The project – in consultation with Middlesbrough’s existing digital business base – will include feasibility work and the development concept drawings to build a clear picture of short and long-term commercial space requirements.
The initiative has been made possible with £100,000 development funding from the Tees Valley Combined Authority.
Middlesbrough was recently highlighted in the Tech Nation Report as a UK emerging digital cluster as well as being ranked for the first time in the top 10 small European cities of the future to attract Foreign Direct Investment.
Councillor Lewis Young, Middlesbrough Council’s Executive Member for Economic Development and Infrastructure, said: “The digital sector is a key to Middlesbrough’s economic growth.
“There is a need to identify suitable space for businesses to grow in the short term as well as explore the opportunity for long-term ownership of new premises.
“Our Mayor Dave Budd recently made the point that the entrepreneurs in Middlesbrough’s Boho Zone could well be the digital equivalents of Bolckow and Vaughan who were pioneers in an earlier industrial revolution.
“We really want to encourage that scale of ambition and ensure they get the right support to establish themselves firmly in the heart of Middlesbrough’s historic quarter.”
The council is delighted to appoint local firm Logic Architecture to develop exciting new concepts designed to meet the needs of the digital cluster.
Logic architect Mark Barlow said: “We are delighted to have secured this exciting commission in our home town and look forward to meeting with all existing and prospective tenants to understand what they need to help their businesses continue to evolve.
“We will then use this intelligence to inform our design proposals which will seek to complement the existing Boho buildings by creating a different style of workspaces to appeal to even more creative and digital companies and strengthen the growing national significance of Tees valley as a tech hub.”
Middlesbrough can also offer additional support through its Enterprise Zone status which offers digital companies looking to relocate to the Historic Quarter the opportunity to receive rates relief for up to five years.
The Enterprise Zone is an important lever in attracting inward investment and new employment to Middlesbrough.
Companies demonstrating that they belong to the digital/creative technology sector and providing information on how the business intends to grow over the next five years are eligible to apply.
Enterprise Zones are part of the government’s Industrial Strategy aiming to support business growth across the country.
• For contact details and an application form please see www.investmiddlesbrough.co.uk/digital