It comes as no surprise that Cambridge, alongside Milton Keynes, is leading the UK’s economy growth this year – even outpacing London.
For years the university city has been recognised for its density of high-tech businesses focusing on software and biotechnology, many having connections with the institution itself. Known as the Cambridge Cluster or Silicon Fen (named after Silicon Valley in California because of its location at the southern tip of the English Fenland), the area is now home to multinational companies including ARM, AVEVA, Acorn Computing, Amazon, Microsoft, Samsung and CSR. And, just last year, Apple opened a new office there, too.
So, what does this mean for businesses in Cambridge? Much of the local economy’s growth here can be dated back to 1970 when Cambridge Science Park was introduced as a hub for science and technology companies. Cambridge is now Europe’s largest technology cluster, with more than 1500 technology based firms in the region boasting a turnover of £13billion combined. But it’s not just the tech industry that is booming. In support, a range of business, financial and professional services are expanding, playing a huge part in the city’s highly competitive and productive business market.
Towards the end of 2014, the Cambridge economy (including Cambridge City and South Cambridgeshire District) had a resident population of around 265,000 people with predictions that by 2031 there will be another 65,000 people living in the area. The city’s infrastructure has been forced to evolve, including excellent transport links – namely the M11 corridor – welcoming more than four million tourists each year.
Some locals have feared that the global interest is pushing out the small shop keepers or even perhaps the entrepreneurial spirit, but, in truth, they are the key to retaining the region’s charm and sustainability. It all comes down to making the smart and structured decisions that will allow your business to thrive, whilst constantly analysing the evolving market you operate within (see my previous blog for tips on analysing to capitalise on a changing business environment).
As a business coach in Cambridge and East Anglia, I always explain to those I work with that it was my many (not always easy!) years of running a successful multinational business that have convinced me that operation is key, no matter how reliable your footfall or how stiff your competition is.
With the support of the right business consultancy to help you grow your company, it can be an exciting time to be a business owner in Cambridge. Two years ago David Cameron declared that Cambridge was at the heart of Britain’s economic recovery – and today it shows no signs of faltering its steady pulse.
Interested in business coaching in Cambridge? For a no obligation friendly chat to see how I can help you take your business to the next level with business coaching or business consultancy for your Cambridge-based business, please contact me.