Middlesbrough’s thriving high tech digital economy is the breeding ground for the “Bolckow and Vaughan” of the 21st Century, according to Mayor Dave Budd.
Praise has been given to the growing multi-million pound Boho sector which provides employment for around 1,000 people as Mr Budd also declared the term “Over the Border” as a “thing of the past”.
And, just as Henry Bolckow and John Vaughan changed the world with iron and steel, Middlesbrough’s digital businesses are now doing the same in the creative and high-tech sectors.
The Boho Zone was put under the spotlight by BBC Tees in a three hour broadcast from Boho One – behind Middlesbrough Railway Station – with presenter Mike Parr.
Mr Budd joined digital business leaders in a panel discussion on the growth sector and why, when they could be in London or Silicon Valley, multi-million pound businesses are opening and staying in Middlesbrough.
Middlesbrough Mayor Dave Budd said: “There are now probably a thousand jobs in this area. It is a huge part of the future of Middlesbrough – there isn’t just one thing but this is hugely, hugely important.
“The term ‘Over the Border’ is a thing of the past, it’s a generational thing.
“I make no apology for repeating myself but we need to think of Middlesbrough centre not as a town but as the economic city heart of the Tees Valley city region.
“You could say that two of these people you are talking to this morning are the new Bolckow and Vaughan, things have moved on – that always gets a smile but why not?”
Bob Makin, CEO of games developers Sockmonkey Studios said: “There has been a lot of games development in Middlesbrough historically – NBA Jam was made here which is one of the biggest games of all time.
“The think about Middlesbrough is we have the countryside, all the local aspects, but we have good internet speeds so we have been working with people in San Francisco online and it doesn’t make a difference now where you work – you can work with people all over the world.”
Animmersion Managing Director Dominic Lusardi added: “It’s fantastic, 10 years ago we started out on a dream of seeing a digital cluster develop and we can see the fruits of these labours. We have a full building with lots of different digital businesses here and we are so proud to be here and be involved in the growth of this digital cluster.”