Europe

Brexit fails to dampen tech sector demand in Cambridge

Brexit has so far failed to dampen demand from the tech sector for space in Cambridge. And a new devolution deal promises solutions for the city’s undersupply and inadequate infrastructure

A university town in an idyllic setting, Cambridge has long been associated with students and tourists punting down the lazy, willow-strewn River Cam. People would be forgiven for considering it a sleepy city with a colourful heritage, a mecca for academic study where young brains are nurtured until international capital cities snap them up.

But Brookgate’s CB1 redevelopment, which is set to deliver 26 acres of offices, shops, restaurants and public realm near the city’s train station, is a conspicuous reminder that Cambridge has established itself as a powerhouse for innovation and excellence, leading the way in technology and bioscience sectors.

An recognised research and development hub, burgeoning cybersecurity hotspot and a preferred location for start-ups, the city and its surrounds have earned the nickname “Silicon Fen”.

With a population of just 125,000, Cambridge has become a magnet for global tech giants such as Apple, Microsoft and Spotify.

The city, which now employs 18,532 people in the digital sector, recorded a 46% jump in new tech companies between 2010 and 2013, according to the Tech Nation Report 2016 by Tech City UK.

The attraction is clear: Cambridge is home to one…

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