Hammersmith and Fulham is taking on the likes of Old Street, King’s Cross and Croydon as it establishes itself as London’s leading hub for tech, science and creative industries.
With the arrival of Imperial College London’s world-leading research and innovation campus, a convergence of media and creative companies have seen a meteoric rise.
Newcomers to the area include a new Soho House and an explosion of co-working spaces and start-ups in the borough and in particular its northern ward of White City
This transformation is being spearheaded by Upstream – a partnership between Hammersmith and Fulham Council and Imperial College – which was borne of the council’s ambitious industrial strategy, launched last year, which aims to make the borough the best place to do business in Europe.
Ahead of London Tech Week on 11-17 June, Upstream is unveiling an exciting line-up of events aimed at attracting new businesses to the borough.
It will use the opportunity to connect and grow existing businesses, with a focus on nurturing the biotech, digital and creative sectors, alongside the borough’s established players such as the BBC and GE.
Among the activities planned in the coming months are regular mentoring clinics, the opportunity for start-ups to trial working in the borough, ‘Gigglebyte’ – a new festival that fuses comedy and tech and ‘Silicon Drinkabout’, a London tech social network.
Prema Gurunathan and Jenni Young, joint managing directors of Upstream, said: “We’ve listened to entrepreneurs and big businesses alike and developed Upstream to ensure they get the support they need – whether they are a long-standing tenant, such as Dunnhumby, or an awarding winning tech start-up like VChain.
“Hammersmith and Fulham’s businesses have their sights firmly on future growth and many tell us they would value more support through networking with peers and bigger players, the creation of growth hubs and further collaboration with academia.
“That’s why the council and Imperial created Upstream, which is providing practical support and connecting entrepreneurs with established businesses and world-beating researchers to help firms achieve their potential.“
The borough is fast establishing itself as a leading business hub, with the Television Centre at the heart of a £8 billion ten-year regeneration of the wider White City area which will form a new hub of activity, creativity and academia in West London.
A thriving neighbourhood will see the arrival of new shops, restaurants and educational facilities, as well as the creation of up to 4,000 new homes, over two million square feet of office space and 20,000 new jobs.
Among the local businesses backing Upstream is VChain, an aviation cyber security company based in Hammersmith.
“Hammersmith and Fulham is becoming very attractive for companies like VChain, thanks to the borough’s excellent transport links, amenities and the growing business ecosystem,” said CEO and co-founder Irra Ariella Khi.
“Through its initiatives, Upstream is creating a real sense of momentum and building a community of like-minded innovators here in the borough, of which we are proud to be a part.”