Sheffield: Heart of the Digital Revolution?
It’s an exciting time for Sheffield – every passing week sees the latest swathe of pop-up cafés and independent eating spots hit the Steel City’s streets. But the gastro-boom isn’t the only thing thriving in the heart of the city; could Sheffield become the North’s digital stronghold?
If the start of the year’s anything to go by, then it’s certainly looking that way. Five major players at the centre of Sheffield’s tech sector have chosen to move to larger office spaces; SDL Group, ZOO, ARM, Sumo and Twinkl have all made plans to relocate over the coming year. Several of these have already made the move, whilst Sky has signed a deal to stay in Ventana House for the next decade in their office which employs over 300 staff across two floors. All of this is set to mean big things for the city’s job market, especially when considering the average working salary in the city was £26,141 in 2015 (compared to the average salary of tech professionals the same year, which was £42,058).
The Digital Campus (pictured above) is another exciting development, not just for Sheffield, but for the UK tech industry as a whole. Presently made up of Electric Works and Ventana House, the £110 million project will eventually consist of four new office buildings and is set to be one of the most technologically advanced business sites in Europe. Currently, Electric Works is home to over 30 different media and tech companies, ranging from games developers and animators, to digital communications and software solutions.
Of the five key businesses making the move, Sumo Digital alone is on the way to creating 100 new employment opportunities for Sheffield-based professionals. After being acquired by UK investment giant Perwyn back in September, the games studio has since signed a 15-year office contract in Jessops Riverside and aims to become a ‘worldwide leader in video game development’, a move which may warrant a concrete donkey courtesy of Wakefield-based neighbours (and competitors) Team17.