A Truly Connected Economy

8th March, 2018

Cornwall is a place where the digital and physical merge, enabling a truly connected economy to flourish. 

Superfast Cornwall was the pioneering programme for Superfast Broadband in the UK, providing the region with over 95% fibre broadband coverage, including a massive 30% of FTTP (fibre-to-the-premises) connectivity, revolutionising the region and giving businesses and homes access to some of the best digital connectivity in the world. Most of the broadband in the UK is fibre-to-the-cabinet (FTTC) with speeds of 40 – 80 Mbps, compared to the impressive 330 Mbps of FTTP. 

Thanks to the Superfast Cornwall programme (2011-2015), Cornwall boasts the world’s biggest rural fibre broadband network, not only changing the way existing regional businesses operate but having a dramatic impact on the way that Cornwall is viewed as a viable location for global business.

The extent of fibre coverage has allowed businesses to operate with a global client base. The superior connectivity has encouraged companies like Spider Eye, an award-winning BAFTA nominated UK Animation Company with a global client base including the BBC, Disney and Cartoon Network, to move the whole business from London the most westerly town in Britain, St Just. This story is true for many; existing businesses are able to take advantage of the infrastructure, start-ups are attracted to being able to live and work in a location like Cornwall – offering great opportunities and an unrivalled work/life balance, and businesses are increasingly looking to expand into the region to take advantage of the digital infrastructure.

“Superfast Broadband transformed the way we operate, particularly with overseas clients. Effectively, we’re a global business.” says Alan Sanders, Director of Sanders Studios, a leading creative communication agency who work on high profile global projects from an inspirational coastal base in Falmouth. 

Cornwall’s connectivity doesn’t stop with Superfast Broadband. Cornwall Airport Newquay is the fastest growing airport in the country and gives the southwestern corner of the UK direct flights to many national and international destinations as well as onward connections to the rest of the world. It also boasts the Aerohub Enterprise Zone – the largest planning free development site in the UK. This, combined with uncongested, unrestricted airspace, operational freedom, one of the UK’s longest runways and direct maritime access makes Cornwall uniquely attractive to companies seeking the ideal base for establishing a foothold in the UK.

From Agile on the Beach’s annual networking event to Software Cornwall’s support and promotion of the region’s digital tech community, there’s a multitude of organised groups and events which facilitate links between complementary areas of interest.  Even Cornwall’s natural geography encourages businesses to grow together and acts as a catalyst to facilitate the exchange and development of ideas. All these equities make Cornwall’s economy connected; however what makes it truly connected, is its kinship of like-minded innovators and pioneers. 

In Cornwall there is a focus on ROR (Return On Relationships), instead of ROI, signalling the value accrued by meaningful, emotional connections. Cornwall places human interaction at the heart of every business with success being measured by the ability to create and connect.

“As an entrepreneur in Cornwall I never feel alone. It’s a supportive, collaborative community,” confirms Fiona Campbell-Howes, Founder of Radix Communications a B2B Copywriting Agency specialising in high-tech electronics, engineering and industrial sectors.

Alan Sanders (Sanders Studios) agrees, “We’re lucky to have collaborative businesses right on our doorstep.”  

Cornwall is home to a truly cooperative, collective business community with an economy that values and rewards relationships. The strength of the region’s businesses community, and the variety of skills offers, present countless collaboration opportunities.

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