Silicon Roundabout – A Victim Of Its Own Success
Silicon Roundabout was hailed as Britain’s answer to America’s Silicon Valley – a place where tech entrepreneurs thrive. However, 6 years after Silicon Roundabout was launched, businesses in the Tech City have fallen dramatically. Based on official figures, there is a dramatic slowdown on the number of businesses that are starting in Tech City.
From the figures obtained under the Freedom of Information Act, the number of new businesses fell by at least 70% from 10,280 in 2015 to 3,070 in 2016. If compared to 2014 wherein the new businesses that opened were 15,620, the sharp fall is very noticeable. According to Colin Jones of UHY Hacker Young, who obtained the figures from HMRC, Silicon Roundabout fell off the top spot in terms of new business creation because it became a victim of its own success.
According to experts, rentals in the Tech City have become rather expensive so that emerging businesses have to look elsewhere for rent they can afford. The Silicon Roundabout became very popular with internet companies because historically, the rents were rather low but since the rents have dramatically increased, the area has lost its competitive advantages.
The sudden drop in startups has literally knocked Tech City from its place as one of the most attractive areas in the UK to start a business. From 2013 to 2014, Tech City was the UK’s fastest growing area for new businesses but last year, it dropped by 6 places and is now behind Warrington and London’s Leicester Square.
This is an embarrassing blow to the government because it wanted Tech City to be the hub for new startups and entrepreneurs. When Silicon Roundabout was launched in late 2010, the goal was to turn the East London district into one of the world’s greatest technology centers. Technology startups are spreading to several areas in London and Tech City will still play a major role in tech growth.
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