High-tech companies are increasingly relocating to office premises in East London, prompting some to dub the area ‘London’s Silicon Valley‘.
In the USA, most high-tech development companies have historically been based in Silicon Valley, California, where they are wall to wall in a large cluster. This has never been the case in the UK, where such companies are in many different locations, not least the Western Corridor from London out to Bracknell in Berkshire.
However this is now changing, with technology companies beginning to group together in East London office space. Historically, similar types of companies have always instinctively grouped together in London. Think money in the City and then Canary Wharf, Insurance in London EC3, Media in Soho – but now also spreading to Clerkenwell on account of rising rents – and so on.
Now the Shoreditch area has clearly begun to evolve as the home for technology hub. To a degree, the nearby Hoxton and Clerkenwell areas too – also north of Liverpool Street Station, are attracting high-tech companies.
Compared to Central London office locations, these are cheaper rent areas, which will have been, and continue to be part of the attraction.
Now that high- tech companies are there, others will inevitably join them, and it is understood that this has attracted the attention of the Government and some of the bigger information technology companies. Facebook, Google, Intel and Cisco have all promised David Cameron to invest in this new technology hub, or at the very least to advise on the best way to nurture and develop it. Crucially, the government has announced plans to review UK copyright laws, after Google told Cameron, they would have been unable to start their company in Britain.
The debate about how we could – or should – reuse the area set aside for the Olympics has been energetic, but as this area isn’t far to the east of Shoreditch, the UK could at last have it’s very own dedicated area for high-tech development companies.