Thursday, 11 November 2010

The East London Tech City: what will happen after the 2012 Olympics?

There was some interesting editorial on the "East London Tech City" on page 50 of Tuesday 9th November's London Evening Standard. (You can read it at for up to 28 days: select e-Edition; free registration required.)

There appears to be an expectation that, despite the apparent technology bias suggested by the name, the majority of businesses resident there will be focused upon solutions for the financial sector, rather than pure technology per se.

It's going to be a fascinating thing to watch. Normally, I'd suppose that that would have to be the overwhelming business sector, since the costs of renting relatively central London property for a company would be way beyond the pockets of any but the firms most benefiting from rich City clients. However, I can imagine a certain amount of desperation on behalf of the land owners to get units occupied however they can, as soon as the athletes move out. It may change the rules of the game, at least for a while.

Could East London be the next M4 Corridor? It's not impossible. But the difficulty of commuting into the area from affordable suburbs might just restrict its potential. In the end, it might just be the haunt for City-related businesses anyway - after all, even in a property slump, few others' employees can afford Docklands warehouse-conversion flats.

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