A focus on… Norwich

With a vibrant city centre and an ambitious, fast growing tech community, Norwich is a place where you can fulfil your career ambitions and enjoy a truly high quality of life.

Featured regularly in broadsheet lists of happiest places to live and with one of the highest % of people who walk to work in the UK (24.8% versus a UK average of 11%), this is a city where you can achieve the best of both worlds and balance health & wellbeing with an ambitious, fulfilling career.

The city is consistently rated as one of the safest and greenest in the UK and with 1,500 historic buildings, a 900 year old cathedral and castle sitting alongside highly regarded modern architecture, this is an environment that inspires.

Things to know about this Fine City:

  • Creativity in it’s DNA: In 2012 the city become the UK’s first UNESCO City of Literature, which built upon a rich literary heritage which goes back more than 900 years.  The first civic provincial library was established in Norwich in 1608, The first provincial newspaper was established in Norwich in 1701 and Norwich is home to the oldest city arts festival in the country – Norfolk & Norwich Festival – whose origins can be traced back to 1772.  Britain’s first and most famous MA Creative Writing was founded in Norwich at the University of East Anglia in 1970 by Malcolm Bradbury and Angus Wilson. The first student was non other than Ian McEwan.  The Norwich University of the Arts is based in the city centre and is rated as a top 5 university for ‘creative scene’ in the Which University Survey and its Chancellor, the renowned actor John Hurt commented ‘it’s going to be the most impressive arts university in the world’.
  • The Sharing City:Norwich has been recognised as the UK’s first accredited sharing city by the Sharing Cities Alliance, following a pioneering not-for-profit campaign.  This accolade has put Norwich on the map as the city embraces the rise of the collaborative economy (aka the sharing economy), and joins pioneering cities across the globe including New York, Barcelona, Athens, Dallas and Singapore. Home-grown initiatives including Liftshare, Farmshare and Pikl are great examples of local businesses who embrace the Sharing City values of believing we can solve problems and create new commercial opportunities that benefit everyone.

 

  • A recent Tech Nation report also pinpointed Norwich as a ‘vibrant digital technology cluster’ with a 20% plus growth in technology companies between 2010 and 2013. The report highlighted Norwich-based tech companies Proxama and Liftshare as key within the digital sector, with technology networking groups SyncNorwich, Hot Source and Norfolk Developers also contributing to boosting economic growth.

Norwich benefits from:

    • 8,000 businesses, including blue chip firms such as Aviva, providing 150,000 jobs
    • Two pioneering Universities: The University of East Anglia (UEA) and the Norwich University of the Arts (NUA)
      • Graduate retention rates of over 40%, one of the highest in the country
    • Norwich Research Park, a thriving innovation community of over 80 businesses, 12,000 employees and 3,000 scientists, researchers and clinicians
    • A new Food Enterprise Park: Situated just outside Norwich, within the heart of the largest food producing county in England, this 46 acre initiative aims to further facilitate growth in the agri-food and agri-tech sectors, and to encourage and support high value food and drink processing and production in the region
    • Transport: International links via Norwich Airport, offering direct flights to Amsterdam Airport Schiphol with connections around the world.  A large and well-connected railway station and a dual carriageway all the way to Cambridge and the M11.  The city is also served by a fast and frequent bus service as well as cycle lanes for the more active commuter!
    • Great Schools:  91% of primary and secondary school pupils in the region go to Ofsted rated ‘Good’ or ‘Outstanding’ schools.
    • Diverse Food Scene: From artisan food stalls on Norwich Market, one of the oldest and largest open air markets in the country, to high end restaurants like Farmyard using the best of Norfolk produce, to culinary pioneers like Erpington House, the UK’s largest plant based restaurants, in Norwich there is something for everyone.  Bon Apetit! https://www.visitnorwich.co.uk/eat-and-drink/

 

Useful networks and support:

If you are considering a move to Norwich or are thinking of setting up or expanding your tech business in Norwich, here are some organisations that can help:

  • New Anglia Growth Hub: Offers a range of business support services from hundreds of sources. The hub’s service is free and impartial and can help you access grants, finance, start-up support, international trade support and other specialist advice from single point of contact.
  • Anglia Capital Group:a group of Angel Investors who invest in start-ups and early growth-stage businesses with innovative and potentially disruptive technology at their core
  • Norfolk Chamber of Commerce: Provide networking opportunities, share knowledge, offer business services, signpost to business opportunities and inspire innovative thinking to enable companies to do better business.
  • Invest East: a high-growth small and medium-sized enterprises (SME) business support programme for Norfolk and Suffolk, part-funded by the European Regional Development Fund. In first instance contact New Anglia Growth Hub and they can direct you to the right person for your needs.
  • Norwich BID:  covers a defined area of the city where the team works to improve the trading environment and identifies additional projects and services that develop the city centre.
  • Tech East: a not-for-profit membership organisation for East of England tech businesses
  • Barclays Eagle Labs support the transformation of businesses, industries and larger organisations through the delivery of structured innovation programming and access to new and emerging technologies.
  • Co-working spaces: The Ideas Factory St George’s Works, Business Revolution, Nwes, Fuel Studios, FLOCC 
  • Networking organisations. Whether you are an employer looking for new business contacts or an employee looking for a someone to show you the best pubs in Norwich, these are some great, thriving communities worth joining: