Hailed by techUK’s president as a city leading the way when it comes to the world of digital, Sunderland is placing itself firmly on the national and international, map as a software and technology success, thanks to the pioneering work of its businesses and Sunderland City Council.
In 2013 the local authority opened the £10million state-of-the-art Sunderland Software Centre, and just two years on the building is now the city’s flagship commercial property, and at the heart of a region that is fast-becoming known as the place to be for digital businesses. The centre was also named as one of only three Digital Catapult Centres nationally earlier this year, meaning businesses based in the centre are at the very heart of the region’s rapidly growing software community.
Sitting right in the city centre, Sunderland Software Centre is already home to a vibrant and growing community of technology businesses. From gaming trailblazer Coatsink to Drupal evangelist Consult and Design the centre is attracting an eclectic mix of digital enterprises, which are all able to tap into the centre’s cutting-edge facilities to accelerate their growth.
Leader of Sunderland City Council, Councillor Paul Watson, said that the centre is proving to be attractive to businesses of all sizes, now being called home by new start-ups as well as bigger, more established businesses.
He said: “Many businesses that have based themselves in the centre have commented on the flexibility of the spaces on offer, there’s something to suit businesses at all stages of their development. And, as the centre is now the Digital Catapult Centre North East and Tees Valley, we’re seeing more and more interest in the spaces still available.”
Also based in the centre is international IT solutions company Saggezza. Martin Williams, Saggezza’s managing director of UK operations, said: “The Sunderland Software Centre made perfect sense for the business.
“The centre provides us with an ultra-modern base with cutting edge facilities and excellent transport links, allowing us to work with more clients across the North of England and across the world.”
The centre boasts six meeting spaces, four innovation rooms – including a cinema room and a product testing space – and a contemporary boardroom, all positioning the centre as a go-to for business events.
The centre benefits from a special partnership with IBM that enables tenants to attend a programme of events that are designed to share information and insight about the latest technology developments, as well as supporting with the growth of their business.
And as part of an exclusive network of technology hubs, Sunderland Software Centre is also home to a Cisco National Virtual Incubator (NVI) – a groundbreaking digital platform that opens up new opportunities to help businesses in the field explore and expand their ideas. The NVI links tenants in the centre up to other incubator sites across the UK, allowing for greater collaboration and sharing of ideas.
Cllr Watson added: “We’re delighted to be able to offer our tenants support from our world-class partners, but they also have unrivalled access to further support as the centre is also home to Sunderland Software City, an organisation set up to spur on the development of the regional software landscape, who have already helped more than 340 businesses to grow and develop.
“Team all of this with the centre’s great connectivity – with lightning-fast internet speeds, and easy geographical access, with excellent Metro, rail and road connections – and the collaborative community of businesses that are based here and working to support each other, and it is easy to see why the centre is filling up quickly.”
To find out about Sunderland Software Centre’s rental rates, capped service charges, and choice of office spaces, follow @MAKEitSund or visit www.makeitsunderland.com