Tech firms creating hundreds of jobs

Six fast-growing tech companies are set to create hundreds of jobs as the sector booms in Sheffield.

Thursday, 26th January 2017, 3:45 pm
Updated Friday, 27th January 2017, 8:21 am
Zoo Digital has moved from Furnival Tower to 50 per cent bigger offices in CityGate

ARM, Sumo, Zoo, SDL Group and Twinkl have all moved - or are planning to move - to bigger, smarter office space, while Sky has signed a deal to stay in Ventana House for the next decade.

Video game company Sumo Digital has committed to Jessops Riverside, Brightside, for another 15 years - and is looking for space for another 100 people.

Rob Darrington, of CPP

The 350-strong firm was snapped up by private investment company Perwyn in September under a plan to become a ‘worldwide leader in video game development’.

Another big hitter, Zoo Digital, has moved from Furnival Tower on Furnival Gate to 50 per cent bigger offices in CityGate, near the Waitrose roundabout. It provides subtitles for the six major Hollywood studios.

Chip company ARM, which was snapped up by a Japanese firm last year, is in the market for bigger space. In Sheffield it employs 60 people in Rockingham Court off Division Street.

SDL Group is set to move its 160 employees from Aspect Court near the bus station to bigger, grade ‘A’ space in Derwent House in the city centre.

Rob Darrington, of CPP

Educational resource firm Twinkl has expanded from 25 people on a section of one floor in Wards Exchange on Ecclesall Road, which it took three years ago, to two-and-a-half floors today.

And Sky, which employs 300 over two floors in Ventana House, next to the Electric Works, has just signed up for another 10 years.

Rob Darrington, of commercial agents CPP, said the deals proved the firms were thriving and there was quality stock to accommodate them.

But more could be done to attract companies from other, rival cities.

He added: “It’s fantastic news for Sheffield that these companies are committed and see the wealth of benefit the city can offer in terms of quality of stock and staff. Sheffield has a high proportion of digital, creative and media industries which the city is embracing. It’s finally starting to realise tech companies are not just about people with long hair in jeans and T-shirts. There’s money to be made and it’s good for the economy.

“But I think we could do more to attract them. A lot of other towns are joining this trend. If we invested in IT infrastructure it would greatly enhance our offer.”

Sheffield lost an affordable, superfast fibre service when the publicly-owned Digital Region network was shut down three years ago, at a cost to the taxpayer of more than £100m.

Installing new cabling to premises can take up to three months.