Digital future may be on Teesside
THE next YouTube, Google or eBay could even now be in a creative cradle somewhere on Teesside.
According to Codeworks, the centre for digital innovation in the North-east, any one of hundreds of tiny local companies could become the next global digital giant. All it takes is talent, opportunity and a little luck.
Small but perfectly formed, interactive software companies in the region already turn over more than £256m a year, and, Codeworks predicts, could ultimately eclipse every other local knowledge based sector.
“A successful digital sector will see the North-east become an economically wealthier, socially richer and more diverse place,” said Codework’s chief executive Herb Kim.
“This is a highly valuable sector. New media, games and interactive software companies currently generate £256m in turnover regionally, with 14% of the highly valuable new media, videogames and interactive software companies each turning over in excess of £1m per annum.
“We're already home to a growing number of hugely successful digital businesses.
“Teesside is also home to a very strong video games development sector.
“Over the next 10 years, we expect growth in job numbers and productivity in the digital industries will eclipse other knowledge economy sectors as well as the region's economy in general.
“Businesses in the digital age don't face the same geographical limitations as even a few years ago. On a practical level, there is little that a company in San Francisco can do that a similar-sized company in Newcastle, Sunderland or the Tees Valley can't.
“Because of that, we know the next digital giant - the next YouTube, Google or eBay - could potentially come from the North-east.
“Of course, we face several key challenges if this is to happen, such as the lack of major buyers in the region and the need to keep a supply of talented people within the region - a key driver to the growth of any knowledge economy, but we're working to overcome these challenges.”