Digital & IT

Published: January 16, 2020 | Updated: January 16, 2020

Lift-off: New Silicon South Network gets off to a flying start with 75 sign-ups in first month

The launch event of Silicon South Network at THIS Workspace in Bournemouth.
By Andrew Diprose, editor

A new industry ‘cluster’ representing the interests of businesses in the digital, creative and tech (DCT) sectors in Bournemouth, Christchurch, Poole and the surrounding area has got off to a flying start.

Just one month after its official launch, the Silicon South Network has already reached its first milestone with 75 sign-ups and more joining every day.

Out of these supporters, there are 18 fully-fledged members from across the Dorset region with a total combined turnover of £18m.

The businesses offer a range of specialties from sustainable marketing to artificial intelligence.

They are complemented by 57 friends who are actively supporting the cause.

Anthony Story, Director, Silicon South, pictured right, said: “We are extremely happy with the progress in just our first month.

“We’ve had some big hitters from around Dorset join the network and together we are promoting Dorset as a hive of activity in the digital, creative and tech sectors.

“We’re delighted by the active support the supporters are giving.

“They’re showing a strong belief that by working together we have a much better chance of promoting the sector and turning that into direct benefits for everyone.

“Of course, we’d love more companies to get on board.

“Together we can put the Bournemouth sector on a par with the UK’s other major DCT centres.”

After six years of research, lobbying and support, Silicon South launched the Network last year.

It was in response to multiple calls from different companies that the sector needed to shout about itself much more loudly.

Despite an amazing range of talent and skills – known about locally – it was felt to be a well-kept secret outside the sector.

The not-for-profit initiative is industry-led and steered and directed by representatives from a diverse range of local businesses.

They are dictating an agenda which reflects the biggest concerns of the sector to deliver actions which increase the recruitment of top talent and engage the wider interests of customers.

In its first month, the Silicon South Network has:

  • Announced the inaugural Tech Sector meet-up to bring founders and directors together to meet and set an agenda specifically to push tech interests in the Bournemouth region.
  • Introduced the Head of Investment for Creative England, a leading investor for creative companies, to a number of supporters.
  • Started promoting the interests of Silicon South Supporters and the DCT community in London, Bristol and beyond.

Behind the scenes, the supporters have formed two working groups.

The Talent Working Group is defining a strategy to improve the engagement of talent both from the local universities but at a senior level too.

Meanwhile The Business Working Group is developing an action plan to better engage local customers and raise the Network’s profile to prospects nationally.

Liz Batley, Client Services Director of Scholar Web Services and a Silicon South Supporter said: “To have Silicon South championing digital, creative and tech businesses in the region is hugely important.

“Bournemouth is well known for its stunning coastline, but we have some absolutely amazing tech businesses doing some inspiring work as well.

“It is no longer a sleepy seaside town, but a bustling place to live and do business.”

To learn more about the network, click here.