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News - 20 October 2013

Brighton fuse research results

The two year investigation into the city’s burgeoning digital sector culminated in a presentation of the results at the Sallis Benny Theatre on Tuesday. An incredible success story.

No other sector in the city has been the subject of quite such rigorous empirical research demonstrating the scale and importance of digital businesses to the economy of Brighton & Hove. Employing in the region of 9,000 people [6.5% of the workforce] digital businesses contribute £713m to the local economy. That’s just a bit less than the £794m that the tourism & hospitality sector generates employing 19,000 people [14,615 fte].

One of the most impressive facts to come out of the study is the rate of growth of digital companies. The sector is growing at over twice the national rate for digital businesses and four times the rate for other non-digital sectors and ten times the UK rate for non-digital.

Barriers to further growth were identified however, including the cost and shortage of good quality office stock. One respondent in the study said that their offices in central Manhattan were cheaper than Brighton.

Another surprising finding was the number of founders of digital businesses that didn’t have degrees related to the sector. Indeed vast numbers had managed to wed humanities degrees with ideas for digital businesses.

The final report is available on the Wired Sussex website.


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