Today there are over 1,000 creative and tech businesses in Hackney which is home to London's highest concentration of start-ups.
These home-grown businesses span film production, design, advertising, gaming, apps, publishing, printing and communication. It's an arts-led economy that has grown over the last 20 years, beginning with an influx of artists and designers into Shoreditch making good use of affordable workspace and the City's good internet access.
In 2012, Hackney Council signed a Business Friendship Agreement with the city of Austin, Texas, home to a huge US creative tech sector. That led to Hackney taking its innovative business expo brand, Hackney House, to the SXSW Festival in 2013 and being heralded by Festival organisers as 'a force to be reckoned with.'
The entire knowledge/tech sector makes up 7% of Hackney’s employment. Nearly all the technology jobs in Hackney are in computer programming, consultancy and telecommunications, these two industries make up 75% of the technology employment. Computer consultancy activities grew by 549 employees between 2008-2010. Data processing and hosting grew by 61% adding 133 new local jobs between 2008-2010. While much lower levels than computer programming and telecom, scientific engineering employment also grew between these years, up by 26% or 200 jobs. Scientific and technical research, the smallest of the substantial tech employers, also grew and added jobs.
Supporting this sector remains a top priority for Hackney Council with specialists working alongside businesses in the Regeneration delivery team.