Digital, Professional and Creative SMEs Flock to Warrington

In a new report by think tank Centre for Cities, Warrington has been named as a top 10 location for SMEs in the digital, creative and professional services sector.

These 'new work' firms are representative of a transition in innovation and technological change. This change is easy to see - just think of the dramatic change in the way we do business now compared to just 10 or 20 years ago. Today we have super-fast Internet, Wi-Fi, mobile devices and smartphones.

This "has meant that cities across the UK have seen a shift towards more knowledge-intensive activity over the last three to four decades" says Naomi Clayton from Centre for Cities. "As a result, digital, creative and professional services firms are becoming increasingly important drivers of employment and output growth in the UK."

Warrington leads Northern England into top 10

The Centre for Cities' report lists Warrington as a leading city for new work SMEs - the only town in the North of England to appear inside the top 10.

It is joined by Aberdeen and Edinburgh in Scotland, while the remaining seven cities are all located within the 'greater' South East, including Reading, Cambridge, Oxford and London.

UBCUK has seen this 'new work' phenomena first-hand, having had a strong presence in Warrington since 2008 across our business centres in North Warrington, Daresbury, and most recently, Birchwood. Many client businesses that approach UBC for flexible workspace are 'new work' SMEs that fall within the creative, digital and professional services bracket.

'New work' SMEs

What's so special about these 'new work' businesses - and why are they an indicator of a region's entrepreneurial success?

The Centre for Cities' research suggests that 'new work' SMEs are growing at a fast rate - and UK cities with high numbers of these firms are generally the most successful in terms of jobs growth, productivity and average wages. The report also cites a positive knock-on effect on the wider city economy by creating new jobs and opportunities in other sectors, such as retail and leisure.

As such, the report claims that 'new work' firms are among the largest job creators in the country.

Alexandra Jones, chief executive of Centre for Cities, said the report highlights that the world of work is changing.

She said: "In recent decades, small innovative firms, taking advantage of technological advances, have started to play an increasingly important role in driving jobs growth, wages and productivity in UK cities.

"Helping these firms to grow should also be a top priority for the Government in its efforts to rebalance the national economy, including the ‘Northern Powerhouse’ initiative."

We've said before that the North of England is well on its way to becoming a global powerhouse, and this latest data certainly adds fuel to the fire. UBCUK has long provided a flexible and supportive base for SMEs in the North West along with many other locations across the country, and we look forward to welcoming many more from the 'new work' era - along with more traditional industries - into our business centre communities..