Creative capital: Hackney’s Tech City expected to become driving force of London economy by 2017

Old Street, the gateway to Tech City. Pic: Torcello Trio/Flickr

Tech and creative companies based around Shoreditch and Hoxton will become the driving force of London’s economy over the next five years according to a new report.

The findings place east London as the new centre of growth in the capital, with employment in Hackney and other eastern boroughs expected to rise by 31 per cent over the next twenty years compared with just nine per cent in inner west London.

Rob Harbron, who wrote the paper released by the Centre for Economic and Business Research, told Eastlondonlines: “Up to 2031 we expect continued growth in population and employment in east London, those are the areas we see as key drivers for London’s economy over the next few years.”

The research concludes that the growth is causing a ‘shift in the centre of gravity of London to the east,’ as the population of young entrepreneurs working in the ‘media, internet and creative’ sectors jumpstart the economy of the eastern boroughs.

Harbron notes that the growth is contributing to the redevelopment and rejuvenation of Hackney’s neighbourhoods. He said: “I think it’s more like redevelopment is tied to growth, people are moving to these areas because they’re cheaper to do business in and cheaper to live in. The economic development is causing the gentrification.”

For the past decade start-up ventures have been springing up throughout east London’s, and in 2010 the Government launched the Tech City Investment Organization to help grow, fund and attract more businesses to the area.

Max Scott-Slade, one of four partners behind Johnny Two Shoes, a Shoreditch-based game design company, said: “It could be hyperbole, but the idea of Tech City being the focus of London would be incredible — we would no longer be making money off money, we’d be making money by exercising a long established creative talent that has always been at the heart of London.

“It’s pretty different to other industries where people are encouraged to ‘stick at their jobs’ for at least 18 months before considering moving. This is a fast paced industry that’s not only just finding its feet but also realising that the talent that’s driving it is a powerful force.”

Chris Harris, co-founder and Director of Harkable, a creative social technology company in Hoxton said: “I think the area is certainly going through a state of change. This seems to be a good community for start-ups, and it was easy to set up a business in Hoxton.

“There are a lot of events that give you a chance to show off what you’re doing, but as an area on the whole it will benefit from the investment of companies. I just hope it doesn’t lose its unique charm and appeal.”

Leave a Reply