Let’s put this in perspective, London’s Tech Hub currently employs 1.25 million people in 187,000 companies with a turnover of £292 billion that grew 15% last year (figures taken from techmap.london). I don’t think Cardiff or Swansea are going to be challenging these type of figures anytime soon. However, where Cardiff could compete is with lower overheads and, potentially, lower salary costs for mid-range skilled tech staff. The average cost may be £43k but a good developer will cost substantially more if you want to attract the right calibre of candidate – and these are few and far between currently.
The biggest draw for Cardiff is in lifestyle and work/life balance. This is where Cardiff can truly compete in my opinion. Lower housing costs but all the trappings one would expect of a city are a significant draw for some as is a safe family environment. So focus on the opportunities and benefits to individuals of moving to Cardiff and you will see a significant rise in the talent pool. This rise in available talent will in turn attract some of the medium size and larger companies to set up stall in Cardiff. Then you have the true beginnings of a Cardiff Tech Hub. Couple this with the announcement of 2,500 new homes (more needed!), the planned improvements to city/valleys transport and the new Cyber Security Centre of Excellence at Cardiff University and Cardiff has the beginnings of being an attractive destination for Tech companies. But a competitor to the London tech Hub… well, never say never!
Contribution by Dr Debbie Garside, as originally published in Business News Wales: https://businessnewswales.com/can-south-wales-challenge-london-as-a-tech-hub/