Warrington ranks in the UK’s top 20 destinations for high-growth technology businesses, beating Manchester and Liverpool in terms of funds raised to support company expansions.
That’s one of the findings of the latest Tech Nation survey, which offers a detailed review of the UK’s booming technology sector.
And, says the town’s economic development chief, it vindicates the council’s ‘grow your own’ strategy to economic development.
“We developed The Base precisely because we could see that the next phase of high value, high growth activity was going to come from the technology sector,” says Steve Park, the managing director of Warrington & Co, the council’s economic development arm.
The Tech Nation report, just out, shows that £88m was raised by Warrington companies to fund ‘second stage’ expansion of their proven business models between 2015 and 2018 – more than anywhere else in the north west.
And whilst The Base, in Dallam Lane, now houses more than 220 workers in a range of technology and engineering-related jobs there are a further 28,000 people working in software and programming within half an hour of Warrington town centre.
“The Tech Nation findings demonstrate that we’re growing our own success stories, whilst council data shows that the town remains attractive to major employers in the sector too” says Park. Hewlett Packard, Dassault Systems and Tata are just some of the global giants with major programming teams in the town.
“Warrington has developed a balanced tech cluster, which has not been an easy thing to pull off, but it will be key to the town’s prosperity moving forward,” Park suggests.
He points to the £500,000 recently raised by The Base tenant Avanite to support the global roll-out of its unique WebData Control product as one example of the town’s ability to attract and nurture high growth companies. Avanite’s product helps enterprises manage their web browsers, boosts user productivity by accelerating login times, manages browser cookies and significantly reduces disk footprint, giving it a global application.
“Companies such as Avanite can make Warrington the ultimate modern economy and it’s hugely encouraging to see their own growth borne out by wider data. There’s no room for complacency and we remain keen to nurture more such companies, whether at The Base or elsewhere,” added Mr Park.