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Located south of the river, Croydon has become one of London’s tech hubs in the last 3 years. Whilst some might say it has the potential to be London’s answer to Silicon Valley, it is hard to ignore it’s growth and strength within the tech market. Croydon is now London’s fastest growing tech cluster, though it’s easy to miss as most eyes are focusing on Silicon Roundabout.
Croydon Tech City (CTC) is home to over a thousand digital, tech and creative start-ups and has experienced 38% growth between 2011 – 2013. Although the focus has very much been on globalisation of our goods and services in recent years, in terms of clusters and synergy in the tech community, the focus is now local with an emphasis on local councils being urged to support and champion tech clusters.
London is most certainly Europe’s popular choice for investors and start-ups and Croydon is contributing to this progress. New research has suggested that London has almost three times as many start-ups choosing the capital than those in the next-most attractive city, Paris.
Mayor of London, Boris Johnson recently stated that “this sector has flourished beyond recognition in the last five years, creating thousands of jobs and outpacing the rest of the economy. London Technology Week is rightly a celebration of that success. Now we need to continue our work to boost connectivity across the capital and arm the tech stars of the future with the skills they will need to drive forward this valuable industry for years to come.”
Croydon is now a tech ecosystem that has a long-term prospect. The introduction of coding clubs into local primary schools is one example of this. This was launched by CTC in 2013, labelled Future Tech City (FTC), the purpose of the initiative is to raise the awareness and availability of tech skills in the borough. With more schools, children and adults getting involved, the project is growing and it is planned to add a ‘Croydon Tech City for Kids’ and possibly a technology apprenticeship scheme.
That being said, CTC is now a community of software developers, creatives, venture capitalists and tech start-ups. It was a proposal that was initially launched to make Croydon an attractive home to early-stage digital and tech businesses. Since then the city has gone from strength to strength with a strong platform at London Tech Week to exhibit the CTC strategy that has supported their tech boom.