TechHub Swansea opens new centre for digital and innovation

TechHub has opened a new centre for digital and innovation in Swansea.

Economy minister Edwina Hart opened the new building, which is 15,000 sq ft in size and located on the high street in Swansea, to the local tech community yesterday.

Launched in December 2013 with only six members and a 3,000 sq ft space, the organisation now has more than 100 members and increased its facilities by 300 per cent.

The new building, which will house a whole tech ecosystem, sports a floor dedicated to co-working, 4 large meeting rooms, 5 Skype pods and ultrafast broadband of up to 3.9Gbps.

A space for everyone

Another exciting development is the launch of Furnace, a DVLA-sponsored event space for tech start-ups and professionals to use for workshops, meet-ups, conferences and hackathons. It can house up to 300 people and has 3 projectors.

Oliver Morley, the CEO of the DVLA, spoke of the importance of the organisation being a part of the Welsh technology industry – not only in Swansea but all of South Wales.

He said: “It is really important for us at DVLA to be a part of the local economy in South Wales and help it grow. The digital economy is vital to region’s future development and we are extremely proud to help push that forward through our hugely successful partnership with TechHub.

“This is a very exciting time for Swansea as the city looks to regenerate itself and we now have a DVLA sponsored space on High Street.

“Furnace will be a dedicated community place right in the middle of the city where we can bring people together to create opportunities for DVLA and South Wales as a whole, sharing our own expertise and learning from others.” 

A Swansea tech cluster

The building is part of Coastal Housing’s £25 million Urban Village regeneration project on High Street, and has been tailored for use by start-ups and shares the vision of creating a tech cluster in Swansea.

Huw Williams, commercial manager of Coastal Housing, said: “Our vision for the Creative Cluster in the Urban Village development was to house and prosper exciting companies from within the creative industries.

“TechHub Swansea encapsulate that, and we know they will adopt a community work environment that encourages start-up businesses and like-minded creative individuals to work cooperatively.”

Open to the public 

Yesterday also saw the launch of TechHub Cafe, which will be open to the public. It’ll offer fresh coffee, food, ultrafast broadband access and charging points built into every table.

Talking about the launch of the new centre and cafe, TechHub Swansea co-founder said: “You could say High Street in Swansea is being twinned with Old Street in Shoreditch! We are chuffed to have a new co-working cafe open to the public which feels like it has been plucked straight out of silicon roundabout.”

“We started TechHub Swansea as a non-profit community interest company, to see our community spring  global tech companies from these shores. To get there we really need people to get behind what we are doing and support our events and initiatives.”

“Wales is a nation of over-achievers, the tech industry is no different. With one of the fastest growing tech sectors in Europe, we now punch well above our weight globally. The creation of a tech cluster around TechHub Swansea proves that.”