This article was originally posted on the Tech City UK website.
Today marks the launch of the first ever Tech Nation Best Practice report ‘Promoting Enterprise & Regeneration’ from Tech City UK and Hackney Council. The report delves into some of the action taken by Hackney Council and local community partners to help build the borough as a tech hub
The report, the first in Tech City UK’s ‘Tech Nation Best Practice Series’, examines the role played by the creative tech community, local businesses and Hackney Council to drive significant inward investment and a change of perception of an area. Tech City UK’s Tech Nation 2016 was a landmark report, shining a light on the UK’s thriving Digital Tech Economy and its contribution to local growth and job creation.
More specifically, Hackney’s transformation has been both profound and rapid. In 2006, Hackney’s employment was 55.3%, by 2015, this had changed to 69%. Economic output (GVA) in 2015 was £9.1bn, predicted economic output in 2031 is £14.4bn. The east London borough experienced a business growth rate of 40% between 2004 and 2012, 17% higher than the capital as a whole. Today, the creative, technology and business services make up 37% of all employment in Hackney and 54% of its 11,000 businesses.
Written from the point of view of the council, who undertook a rigorous strategic plan in order to improve the Hackney area, both economically and socially, the report includes insight into how the council built relationships with companies big and small, created a brand associated with the area and worked with students and local people to ensure their upskilling through apprenticeships, the development of ‘opportunity hubs’, employment programmes and coding clubs.
Other councils in the UK can benefit from this blueprint for success. Hackney’s transformation, and the role the digital community and council played in this, is clearly outlined in this report, which offers a step by step guide to engaging with your digital community.
Hackney Council’s Top 10 simple but effective recommendations for regeneration:
Be clear about your mission and long-term ambitions
Treat all businesses equally
Handle all business enquiries efficiently
Challenge developers where necessary
An area’s branding is crucial to its economic success
Develop your international reputation
Help young people to access paid work experience
Invest in coding skills
Link local businesses with the wider community
Support businesses through economic change
Jules Pipe, Mayor of Hackney comments:
“Whilst technology has emerged as the jewel in Hackney’s business landscape, the potential remains for the sector to play a leading role in the continued development of the borough, not least the resulting creative and hospitality industries. Hackney Council is connecting all of these sectors with schools and our own employment programmes in order to improve residents’ job prospects.
Improving opportunities for residents remains our clear goal and we continue to work closely with businesses to ensure that local people benefit from the world-class industry on their doorstep.”
Gerard Grech, CEO, Tech City UK comments:
“The emergence of a digital community in Hackney has been transformative for the borough and the city. What started as a collection of innovative entrepreneurs has become an industry that employs more than 300,000 in London and now contributes £35bn to the capital’s economy. Hackney Council’s role continues to be crucial in driving the conditions for this local growth and business engagement”.
Rohan Silva, Founder, Second Home comments:
“Hackney Council is doing a brilliant job of supporting businesses in the area – they’re genuinely committed to helping entrepreneurs and companies, which is why so many of the world’s most innovative companies are investing in Shoreditch.”
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