Why Dorset in the best place to live in the UK

cropped-sil-south-logo-stack-cmyk1.jpgWe here at Silicon South make no secret of the fact we love Dorset and think everyone should live here! Recently it’s come to light that we aren’t the only ones who think so.  Here are a few articles that highlight why Dorset is a great place to live and a great place to have your business.

The Metro:

11 reasons Dorset is the best place to live in the UK

Ranging from it’s stunning natural coast line, vibrant festival locations, fantastic transport connections and the range of both big and small businesses in the region this article tells us why Dorset should be number one on your wishlist of where to live.

The Times:

30 best places to live if you’re single

For those of you with a subscription to the Times you can find the full article by clicking on the link above, but coming at at number nine here’s what they had to say about Boscombe:
“What makes it special:
An ambitious project to transform Bournemouth from retiree town to a coastal Silicon Valley (it boasts an unusual number of digital start-ups) is drawing a younger crowd. The are plenty of good clubs too. The new Coastal Activity Park, with all kinds of water-sports and a running trail, has added to the Boscombe beach area’s popularity.”

Dorset Magazine:

10 reasons to love Bournemouth

Recently voted the best UK coastal resort, with seven miles of golden beaches which play host to the annual Bournemouth Air Festival, Bournemouth is a beautiful place to spend your weekends.  There are also opportunities for surfing, some great night life and an all round excellent place to bring the kids.






Growing the creative economy – How the Arts Council are supporting the LEP

cropped-sil-south-logo-stack-cmyk1.jpgThe Arts Council are recognizing how valuable the creative industries are to the UK economy.  In fact current estimates suggest the creative sector is worth £71.4 billion to the UK economy with major opportunities for growth.  In order to stimulate this growth the Arts Council are aligning their funding with that of Local LEP’s in order to encourage greater investment in the following areas:

– Employment and skills

  • This includes the creation of over 6,500 new opportunities for unemployed young people through the Creative Employment Programme

– Growing the tourist economy

– Supporting creative sector SMEs

  • Capital: In the places where the Arts Council is investing in capital development there are opportunities for LEPs to use this investment as match, contributing to the sustainability of the local cultural infrastructure and enabling it to drive economic growth. In return for LEP investments we will work to ensure a clear joint funding agreement that meets both of our requirements. Small grant capital projects must be completed within three years of the decision by the Arts Council to award in July 2014.
  • Creative people and places: LEPS could use the Arts Council investment as match to support cultural SMEs and ensure that they are able to contribute economically – to tourism, as part of creative industry clusters, as employers and also to promote social inclusion.
  • Strategic Touring: LEPs could use Arts Council investment as match to jointly invest in extending the reach, diversity and quality of the artistic offer in places where engagement with the arts is currently low. This would underpin growth in arts organisations that can help create jobs, enhance the local visitor offer and also help meet social inclusion objectives.
  • Apply to be a National Portfolio Organisation and work with the Arts Council long term to deliver their strategic goal

– Social inclusion

– Upcoming Arts Council funding


Find out about all the projects going on as part of this funding stream by reading the full report here:  Growing the creative economy – Arts Council Support for LEPs v2




Creative Industry Survey 2014


Benchpress Workout 3

The Wow Company and The Drum have recently released their latest benchmarking report with some interesting statics on top performing creative industry agencies.

You can read the report here

There’s a wealth of information but here are a few interesting snippets:

78% of agencies are planning on recruiting new staff in 2014 with recruitment agencies being selected as the most effective way to recruit new staff despite the fees.  Nurturing your relationship with some of our local education providers could also provide effective as this was rated the 3rd most effective method for recruitment.

In terms of winning over new clients to keep those new employees busy it’s those social movers and shakers who are getting the best return with networking being rated as the top way of winning new business. Interestingly whilst more than 50% of companies said they used LinkedIn and Twitter to try and attract new business, social media didn’t feature in the list of the top 6 most effective ways of attracting new clients.

Finally what’s the one thing your businesses did last year that made the biggest positive difference? For UK agencies the top four categories where; moving to a new office, recruiting some good people, getting good at new business and increasing prices.

Film Festival Fund


Film festivals give audiences the opportunity to engage with a wide range of British and international films, celebrating the rich diversity of life in the UK and beyond.

The BFI has allocated Lottery funding of £1 million per year, for the four years from 2013-2017, to the Film Festival Fund. As part of the Audience Fund, the Film Festival Fund supports festivals which provide audiences across the UK with a greater film choice, as well as increasing audiences for specialised and independent British film.

To find out more about the fund priorities, how to apply and any questions you may have take a look here for the original article

Should tech companies have a rural base?

Silcon South Logo

Two recent articles in the Guardian have been debating this issue at length but what are your thoughts? Are schemes such as Silicon South helping or hindering? Let us know your thoughts in the comments below.

Nick Goode writes: Time to shift the focus on tech startups

London’s Silicon Roundabout is feted as the home of tech startups, but small businesses across the country need access to government resources, too.
The past five years has seen a fundamental shift in the technology landscape in the UK. Just last month, research from UHY Hacker Young found that London’s Silicon Roundabout has attracted more than 15,000 startups in the past 12 months. But, though the EC1V postcode has established itself as a breeding ground for creativity, innovation and inventiveness, it should be remembered that only 10% of the startups are tech startups. The government should really be looking at other tech startup communities across the UK.

 Gary Turner responds: UK needs its own Silicon Valley and it should be in London

Writing for the Guardian Small Business Network, Nick Goode set out a case for the government to invest in tech start-up communities outside of London.

Yet, rather than fostering growth, experience shows that not having a single, centralised hub for technology innovation will actually achieve the opposite.

British technology companies do not feature among the world’s most valuable brands, while the US technology giants Apple, Google, Microsoft and IBM account for four of the first five places in this list. In fact, you have to go quite a way down the names to find any UK-registered company at all. And this despite the fact that this country spawned some of the greatest pioneers of modern technology; people like Charles Babbage, Ada Lovelace, Alan Turing, and indeed the creator of the world wide web itself, Sir Tim Berners-Lee. Yet the inconvenient truth is that the British technology industry needs something of a reboot, to use the vernacular.

Read the full article here