The growth of the digital industry across South Wales highlights opportunities for success.

You only have to search "web design Cardiff" to be inundated with companies offering digital related services.

Cardiff Bed Store web page on desk

A growth in digital companies targeting industries such as health, travel and finance have helped spearhead growth and evidence points to this continuing as the economy tentatively gains strength. The question is why? What is occurring in South Wales that has inspired confidence and encouraged growth?

First, the Welsh Government continues to be committed to supporting entrepreneurial endeavours throughout Wales. This has undoubtedly persuaded talented individuals to not leave Wales and disappear up the M4 to London. Second, the emergence of the Cardiff cluster – as identified in the Tech Nation Report “Powering The Digital Economy” – has created a digital business community which gives further confidence to those considering launching a business in the Welsh capital. Third, the attractiveness of Wales as a place to live is hard to discount. The low cost of living, cheap office rental costs and superb transport infrastructure linking South Wales to the rest of the UK make starting a business here less daunting, regardless of any government business incentive. Furthermore, the Brecons, Pembrokeshire, Gower and a thousand other majestic sites guaranteed to reinvigorate the soul, surely make it hard to up sticks and chase the smog up the M4.

Welsh Government

The success of the support shown by the Welsh Government and the overall attractiveness of Wales, is made clear when you compare South Wales with the level of growth occurring in digital industries across the UK. Between 2010 and 2013 – at the height of “austerity” – South Wales experienced an 87% increase in the formation of digital companies, compared to 53% across the UK*. South Wales is also amongst the top five fastest growing clusters of hi-tech companies in the UK*. Unsurprisingly Cardiff is at the heart of this growth, with start-ups and small businesses leading the charge, but thankfully it is not exclusively occurring in the Welsh capital as the spread of digital start-ups match population density throughout Wales.

Starting out on your own in South Wales?

For those of us starting out on your own, it is incredibly reassuring to know that we have the backing of the Government. The growth of the digital industry in South Wales – when compared to the all defining impact experienced by the coal industry – reassures us of the bright future ahead. Especially when considering how we are not reliant on a finite material such as coal. The seam is rich with talent and there is much to be positive about, providing we continue to encourage talent to stay and help grow a digital cluster in South Wales to rival any found elsewhere in the UK.

The Design Bench - Helping Businesses Succeed in South Wales

The Design Bench is a full-service design agency based in South Wales dedicated to crafting design experiences that reflect our client’s uniqueness to maximise audience participation.

*Source - Tech Nation Report "Powering The Digital Economy".

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The growth of the digital industry across South Wales highlights opportunities for success.

Stuart Lamacraft

About Stuart Lamacraft

Stuart is the Creative Director and founding partner of The Design Bench.

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