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Innovation at the heart of Bath and Bristol

Kirsten Fowle Profile Image

Kirsten Fowle
July 21, 2020

The UK tech sector is speeding ahead of other areas of the UK’s economy and it is evident that there is a healthy mix of both established technology companies and an increasing number of tech start-ups across regional ‘tech hubs’. And the West Country is one of those places!

10 years ago, two new graduates from the University of Bath decided not to return to their native Cornwall and remain in the area to set up their very own digital business, Storm. A decade on Bath is now one of the best places to start a business and has an array of innovative digital technology businesses across the city.

One of the best places to start a digital business

Bath has actually ranked very highly in a list of the top cities to launch a business in the United Kingdom, taking second place behind Aberdeen and sitting ahead of Birmingham, Bristol and Manchester.

The Bath and Bristol region has a strong history with technology, specifically relating to aerospace and microchip design, and global businesses from these sectors are established here.

However, the region is now attracting a greater range of technology companies and start-ups. Robotics, in particular (in part spurred by the internationally recognised Bristol Robotics Laboratory), is a fast-growing sector in the Bristol and Bath area. 

The region is now a growing technology hotbed, with start-ups and more established companies increasingly emerging. 

The role of universities plays its part in the development of this UK tech hub, and the Bristol and Bath area has a number of notable institutions: University of Bristol, University of Bath, University of West England and Bath Spa University. Here, digital skills are developed, and the students are approached by the incoming and established tech start-ups and companies. 

Despite not having the largest employee-base, with only 26,999 tech jobs, digital tech business turnover is upwards of £7.9 billion in the area.

Image and stats source: Tech Nation

A collaborative effort across the region

The region is also home to a number of tech hub events or meet-ups, including TechSPARK, Creative Bath, High Tech Bristol and Bath, Venturefest. Not to mention fantastic business hubs such as Engine Shed and incubators like SETsquared.

Bath is also home to the biggest & most inclusive tech festival in the South West: Bath Digital Festival. Bringing people and technology together, it allows everyone to explore the thriving digital scene here in and around Bath and get hands on experience with the latest projects. Storm part of the original founding members and still play an active role in the festival 9 years later (David, our CEO, is even Chairman of the Charity).

We love that Bath is our home and we’re so proud to have watched, and been involved in, its development over the years.

What a fantastic juxtaposition it is to have one of the most historical cities in the UK become one of the most digitally innovative too, supported by companies like Storm and those we all help to build.

Image and stats source: Tech Nation