Bournemouth is fortunate to have two very successful and flourishing Universities, supporting the Science and Technology, Health and Social Sciences, Management - Business, Tourism and Media, Communication and Digital Industries. In 2013, the Bournemouth University Impact Study identified that BU alone is worth £252 million to the local conurbation and £362 million to the wider South West region.
In 2013 BU students and their visiting friends and families spent over £114.m in the local conurbation and more than £128m in the South West Region*. BU created nearly 1,400 FTE jobs in 2013 within Bournemouth, Christchurch and Poole and when the secondary effects are included this rises to 2,111 FTEs throughout all sectors of the local conurbation. Just under one FTE job is supported in the local conurbation for every 7.4 students. (*Based on 2013 Economic Impact study by Professor John Fletcher)
The digital and creative industries in particular, are one of the sectors with the greatest potential to support economic recovery, and have a central role to play in the UK’s future economic success. This has been recognised by the Chancellor of the Exchequer who cites creative industries as ‘a key part of the new economy we are seeking to build’.
Bournemouth is the UK’s fastest growing digital economy according to a recent report by Tech Nation The number of new digital companies formed in the town between 2010 and 2013 rose by 212%. This, the largest ever study of the UK’s digital sector, revealed Britain’s digital economy is booming outside London and the capital was no longer at the heart of the industry.
Significantly, among the findings of the Tech Nation project was that digital job growth was predicted to outperform all other occupations by 2020.
Recently, the Dorset LEP was awarded £4 million funding to support business growth in the region, part of a wider investment package from the Government; their plan includes the provision of an Incubation Unit for small businesses at Talbot Village linked to the Universities.
In order to harness this emerging phenomenal economic growth, The Talbot Project Master Plan will deliver a new creative village hub for digital and creative businesses. This will not only support the creative talents of graduates from the two Universities, it will add a prestigious element to the offer for incoming businesses attracted by the superb coastal location, the young entrepreneurial talent, and the growing digital business sector. The Talbot Project will also create a small business Incubation Unit in a Zone for Enterprise within Talbot Village.
The Talbot Project will create conditions that will allow the Universities to flourish, to continue to provide academic excellence and to develop the skills and expertise that will enable the local economy to grow. This will enable the area to develop as a centre of excellence, to help retain talent within the region, and develop the Talbot Project as a creative hub exemplar.