“You can’t sell it on cheapness of labour – even though it is cheaper to work out of the North East – because obviously you’d like your people to earn as much as anyone.”
Championing the North East even as he bows out of the Teesside digital industry he’s done so much to spearhead, Digital City Business CEO Mark Elliott says it’s time for the project to go onto the ‘next level’ with the team that’s in place and pays tribute to the ‘fantastic people, doing fantastic things’.
Since 2003 he has taken on the role of building Teesside’s tech cluster. During that time, a series of tech business hubs have appeared around the centre of Middlesbrough, starting with the £10m flagship offices of Boho One.
“One of the things I’m most proud of is how much informal support companies give to each other. That’s a really important aspect of a cluster. It’s incredibly important that people can trade support and advice, and that happens on an hourly basis in Boho One. It’s about getting rid of that silliness.”
And in his parting interview with the Betarocket website’s John Hill, he pays tribute to the innovative nature of the area.
“It’s a place you can go from pre-start right through to international markets under one roof, at your own speed, and with the best possible support system. That’s not a claim many places can make, and that’s how you’ve got to sell it.”
Although there is no firm date set for his departure, he expects to move on at some point over the next nine months and re-locate north of the border, where his wife Janet Archer has been appointed CEO of Creative Scotland.
Read the full interview with Elliott here.