At more than three times the national average, Brighton has the highest density of digital companies in the UK. Danny Morgan looks at how our home city became the lively talent pool it is today.
There’s a reason King George IV founded his decadent seaside pleasure palace here. The royal, the rich and the famous helped transform Brighton from a fishing village to the fun and fashionable hub it is today.
Brighton is somewhere people want to be, somewhere they are drawn to. The city is a hive of activity – it buzzes with innovation and originality, and generally minds its own business.
And business is thriving. At more than three times the national average, Brighton has the highest density of digital companies in the UK. It’s also a city brimming with creative talent and a place businesses tend to relocate to. Our founder Lisa Bradley explains why she moved the business to the city two years ago: “Brighton is an exciting, vibrant city, but it’s also renowned for a wealth of digital expertise. Despite all the advantages the digital age has brought with it, being geographically close to other creative businesses the abundant talent pool here is crucial.”
“IT’S A GOOD LOCATION, CLOSE ENOUGH TO LONDON TO BENEFIT FROM EUROPE’S LARGEST MARKET, BUT FAR ENOUGH AWAY TO BE ITS OWN PLACE AND NOT JUST COMMUTER FODDER.”
Rob Stone, our head of digital, feels the same way. “Giving clients the best possible service requires the best people and being in a digital hub like Brighton makes attracting those people much easier.”
The city appears to be full of early adopters who want to be at the forefront of technology and culture. Phil Jones is managing director of Wired Sussex, which helps its members find, recruit, train and retain staff.
“Brighton has a number of strategic advantages. It has two universities whose staff and students are really important in helping underpin the digital business cluster. It’s also a good location, close enough to London to benefit from Europe’s largest market, but far enough away to be its own place and not just commuter fodder.
“But to be honest, if proximity to London was the key, then people would be talking about digital Luton, not digital Brighton!” Jon Pratty, Chairman of Brighton Digital Festival, agreed Brighton is an attractive prospect for businesses and employees.
“Cities grow where materials and commodities for growth are plentiful, and digital clusters are shaped by the same things. Brighton has one of the fastest growing rates of small business start ups in the UK, and a formidably innovative creative digital sector. Many are attracted to work in the city because of the place itself; it’s about the sea, the culture, the politics and the people. “
Phil said the ‘buzz’ of Brighton is key in drawing talent out of the usual locations, with most of the city’s digital pioneers born elsewhere. “Over 90% of those who have started digital business moved here from outside the city. The number one reason they gave for doing that was Brighton’s ‘lifestyle’.
“That combination of culture and craziness that makes Brighton pretty unique is absolutely key to our digital success.”
If you want a breath of fresh sea air, and fancy working for Pegasus, get in touch.