Sunderland is home to one of the fastest growing digital technology clusters in the UK, with the number of people working in the sector growing by 26% over the past four years.
The city also had the high est Digital Tech birth rate in the UK in 2015 at 19.3% – this was against an average of 15.2% and a non-digital sector UK average of 11.6%.
So, why are so many technology businesses flocking to Sunderland and what makes it such a great place to live and work?
We pooled together the thoughts of a few members of staff in our Sunderland office, spoke to the fantastic tech community based out of our home, Sunderland Software Centre, and we even unearthed more new reasons why this is a great place to be…
Arts & Culture
Sunderland’s Music Arts and Cultural Quarter is in the heart of the city centre, and is home to the Fire Station, an integrated performing arts centre officially opened by the Duke and Duchess of Cambridge.
The multi-million-pound performance venue will be complemented by a new auditorium, that has been backed by £6m of Arts Council funding, and will accommodate as many as 750 people, when it opens in 2019.
With the largest theatre between Manchester and Edinburgh, Sunderland is known as the West End of the North East. Opened in 1907, Sunderland Empire can seat an audience of 2,000 for shows including War Horse, The Lion King, Wicked and Shrek.
If you’re looking for things to do, Sunderland won’t come up short….
Cost of living
The North East is one of the best value places in the UK to live, and that’s certainly true in Sunderland.
House prices in the city are a great deal more affordable than most other parts of the country, which means lower-cost private renting and more space for your money if you buy.
With real wages among the lowest in the country in the North East, your money goes so much further, and you can enjoy a great work-life balance, making the most of the plethora of leisure activities the city and region has to offer with the income you have left over after bills are paid!
Food and drink
Sunderland has an array of tasty eateries, bars and cafes to enjoy. From Turkish to Greek and Egyptian to Mexican, foodies can enjoy a culinary adventure from the city centre, and with fabulous places in the Coalfields and Washington areas of the city, as well as across Sunderland’s suburbs, there’re something for everyone!
History and heritage
Sunderland and the North East have a rich heritage – from glass-making to coal-mining, the hardworking hands of proud Wearsiders have changed the world… And the city is awash with fantastic places to visit, that celebrate the city’s history.
There are heritage trails that can be followed, that showcase Old Sunderland, as well as fabulous walks in places like Herrington Country Park, which stands on former coalfields.
Sunderland is one of the top five greenest cities in the UK, with 57% of the city area being green space.
And, according to scientists who looked at the assets the city has to offer vs the things that lead to a rich and fulfilled life, the city was recently dubbed the ‘third richest city in the UK’ for quality of life.
Just a stone’s throw from our office is Sunderland’s beautiful Mowbray Park, one of the oldest parks in the North East of England and often described as ‘the jewel in the crown of the city centre’.
And golden spaces….
Sunderland is the UK’s largest seaside city and its stunning coastline has recently been improved further, thanks to major redevelopment.
Roker beach is now home to a modern boulevard, play park and a range of eateries to keep visitors well-fed. It even has its own gin distillery, with its products now being sold right across the country.
Seaburn has a large stretch of golden beach, peppered with bars, restaurants and traditional fish and chip shops and is one of the most popular spots with locals – come rain or shine!
The Bridges, a popular shopping centre in the heart of the city, is home to more than 100 stores, including Debenhams, Disney, H&M, Starbucks and Hotel Chocolate.
The city is also home to a host of award-winning quirky independents offering an alternative spin on the shopping experience.
The city has some of the most vast and varied sporting facilities, including its marina; the newly developed Beacon of Light; an Olympic-sized swimming pool; a karting centre; a climbing centre that offers more than 900m of climbing and bouldering walls; a dry ski-slope and the city is the end point of the C2C Cycle Route, which attracts between 12,000 and 15,000 cyclists every year.
The city is home to hundreds of technology businesses, who together employ thousands of people.
Helping new members of staff and businesses settle into the city is Sunderland Digital, a network set up to bring together and enrich this digital community through a series of informal monthly meetups and talks. You’ll be part of something bigger… a genuine software community.
The city has recently spent millions on upgrading its road infrastructure and is also plugged into the North East’s Metro system, which is used for more than 37 million passenger journeys every year. That makes it really easy to get around, meaning you can leave the car at home…
Like what you’ve just read? Think Sunderland could be a great place for you to kick-start or continue your career?
If so, why not take a look at the roles we’re currently recruiting for in our Sunderland office by visiting https://saggezzacareers.com.