Hull tech hub opens doors

Hull tech hub opens doors

The Centre for Digital Innovation (C4DI), a technology hub created to spearhead a digital revolution across Hull and Humber and the wider northern region, has officially opened for business.

The £4m, 22,000 sq ft building, developed by the Wykeland Group, will form the centre of the £14m @TheDock scheme and will be home to some of the most innovative start-ups and businesses working in the UK.

Featuring KC’s Lightsteam broadband service, it brings the UK’s fastest internet connection speeds to Hull, providing download speeds from 250Mbps to 1Gbps and upload speeds of between 125Mbps and 500Mbps.

The official opening was carried out by Claire Braithwaite, head of Tech North at Tech City UK.

Claire said: “The approach Wykeland has taken to the development of the C4DI building demonstrates their progressive approach and commitment to Hull.

“By providing a focal point for the digital community, this landmark building will play a key role in growing and developing the digital economy in Hull and will help ensure Hull's place as a leading digital cluster in the UK.”

Dominic Gibbons, managing director of Wykeland Group, said the aims of C4DI were aligned with the Northern Powerhouse initiative and would see Hull leading the way with digital innovation and the creation of a digital economy in the North.

Gibbons said: “The digital economy in Hull and Humber is a significant contributor to the region’s GDP and that would have continued to grow at a steady pace.

"But the regional digital and tech community needs to be better than that. The digital industries are such a fundamental area of growth that we wanted to make sure we are leading in terms of talent, ideas and innovation.

John Connolly, managing director of C4DI Ltd, the operating company for the building, added: “C4DI Ltd is a company whose objective is to assist the growth of the local and regional tech and digital sector.

“To achieve that we needed a space for it to happen in and that idea gave birth to the idea of C4DI the building, the opening of which we are celebrating today.

“Our vision was to create a unique, vibrant specialist business space that would help drive the region’s tech and digital sector forward and we have worked in partnership with the likes of KC, Hull Digital, the University of Hull and numerous local and national tech companies to achieve that.

C4DI secured its first tenant in May this year.

The Escada Group, an international hardware and software developer and market leading supplier of control systems to the corrugated paper manufacturing industry, agreed a lease on a 2000sqft unit on the second floor of the building, which will form the company’s corporate headquarters.

Gavin Bushby, founder and chairman of the Escada Group, said he had been ‘blown away’ by the vision and enthusiasm of the team behind C4DI.

Bushby said: “As part of our company strategy, our vision is to create a more corporate-focused company with an emphasis on product and systems innovation and safeguarding the future success, expansion and stability of the Escada Group.”