Tech hub Croydon is UK’s fastest growing economy

Publications that covered this story include: The Daily Express, City AM, The Daily Mail, The Independent, The Express & Star, The Belfast Telegraph, all 30 August 2016. Additionally, Business Quarter, SME Insider, Startups, Tech London and Evening Standard on 31 August 2016.
  • ‘Silicon Valley of South London’ becoming unexpected start-up hub
  • London areas dominate top 10 fastest growing economies

According to our latest research, Croydon has the UK’s fastest growing economy as it increasingly becomes a leading business hub for technology companies.

Croydon topped the list of 173 areas as the fastest growing UK regions with an annual growth rate of 9.3% in Gross Value Added (GVA), rising to £19,800 in the last year from £18,120 the previous year*. This rate is nearly three times the UK average increase of 3.4% over the same period, rising to £24,960 from £24,130.

GVA is a measure of an area’s contribution to the UK economy based on the value of the goods and services it produces per capita.

Previously known as the birthplace of model Kate Moss and businessman Philip Green, Croydon is now beginning to shed its suburban South London image after significant regeneration over the last ten years. Croydon is now home to over a thousand digital, creative, and technology companies alone.

A significant hub for technology and Fintech companies, and it is often called ‘London’s third city’ and the ‘Silicon Valley of South London’.

Significant investment in infrastructure means Croydon offers quick links to central London, Gatwick Airport, and fellow technology and Fintech centre Brighton. East Croydon railway station is now one of the UK’s busiest stations with over 22 million passengers in the last year**.

The Croydon Vision 2020 programme promotes the area as London’s ‘third city’, and the Croydon Tech City movement attracts tech companies to the area, including:

  • Quid Cycle, the Fintech peer-to-peer lending company
  • Dotmailer, the email marketing firm
  • Croyative, the online marketplace for charities to connect to creative professionals

Colin Jones, partner, comments: “Croydon’s regeneration is going from strength to strength and it is no longer a joke that it is beginning to rival Shoreditch in attracting technology companies.”

“Croydon has reinvented itself over the last ten years and is attracting a wide range of businesses to the area and is quickly becoming a commuter hotspot.”

“Over the last two decades, significant resources have gone into Croydon’s regeneration including improving its transport connections with the rest of London and the UK.”

“With such close proximity to Gatwick, Croydon is perfectly located for both international trade and European-based companies looking to open a UK base.”

London home to majority of the top ten fastest growing areas in the UK

Six out of the top ten fastest-growing economies in the UK are located in London as the city continues to be the economic hub of the nation.

London’s average GVA increased 5% in the past year to £52,880 from £50,360 in the previous year, a faster rate of growth than the UK average of 3.4%.

While Croydon topped the national list, Camden & the City of London and Bromley were also in the top five areas for fastest growth rates, with 8.9% and 8.1% respectively (see table below).

Colin continues: “Central London firmly remains the powerhouse of the nation’s economy, with outer boroughs such as Bromley now joining more areas such as the City of London and Silicon Roundabout as centres for economic growth.”

Croydon tops the list as London dominates fastest growing areas in the UK

GVA table

*Year end date 31 December 2014, the most recent data available
**Estimates of station usage, Office of Rail and Road