London might seem like the epicentre of the digital universe but there is a world outside the capital.

A report [1] earlier this year revealed that 'rapid digital business growth is now a UK-wide phenomenon with nearly two in three jobs and three in four digital companies located outside inner London'.

 

From Cornwall to The Clyde, jobs and opportunity are rife in this exciting industry – here are four prominent case studies:

 

We Are Base
The sunny seaside towns of Bournemouth and Poole might not be perceived as technology hotspots to the outsider, but don't be fooled; the area is actually growing at the quickest rate of any digital cluster in the country. A report by Tech City lists UI and UX design, visual and audio design, and content production as among its main strengths.

One of the companies making strides in the web and mobile development industry, with specialisms in e-commerce and marketing and customer engagement, is We Are Base, which describes itself as 'a catalyst for socially useful innovation'.

Digital 1 (PD)Some of its amazing, and dare we say life-saving successes, included an app created with RNLI to enable visitors to visualise tide patterns along a 20 mile stretch of Newquay coast renowned for trapping beach dwellers in coves. Another app for Nottingham City Transport provides users with real-time information on traffic issues and public transport performance.

We Are Base is also responsible for the Open Device Lab, a free-to use resource in the heart of the town which lets freelancers, developers, students and anyone else with an idea drop in, test their app, and then drop out again.

iCrossing
Further along the south coast from Bournemouth is Brighton, the new home of Silicon Beach and £170 million of investment. One of the companies that could benefit from the cash injection is iCrossing, although its journey from a single town base to 17 offices across the world and 900 employees suggests it's doing just fine already.

Part of that process was recognising the worth of the web in its embryonic days, when Google was just an idea in the minds of Larry Page and Sergey Brin. The company, then called Spannerworks, used AltaVista as it worked on Search Marketing and measuring the success of 'eyeballs' to sales.

Its string of awards from across the world recognise work with Coca-Cola, Lego, Barclays and LG Electronics, among others. It was recently named a Leader in Gartner Inc's Magic Quadrant for Global Digital Marketing Agencies' report, and
ranked number one in the world for search by Forrester Research in 2011.

Liquid
Growth in the Liverpool cluster of digital companies is also propelling the city to prominence, with particular strengths in advertising and marketing.

Liquid, based in Liverpool's well-known Lord Street, is responsible for the crisp packaging on Warburtons/Weight Watchers bread, the 'I'm dreaming Of' campaign featuring personalised printed gift finder for Radley, and a complete rebrand for Cabfind.com.

They're a little bit different from the average – check out the team gifs for evidence – but their extensive list of other clients includes Asics, the NHS, Thorntons, Liverpool John Lennon Airport and Liverpool Hope University. Fittingly, Liquid has recently been nominated in the 'Best PR & Marketing Agency of the Year' category in the City of Liverpool Business Awards.

BGL Group
In 20 years BGL Group – once known as the Budget Insurance Company and employing five salesmen – has helped more than 8 million customers and grown to a workforce of 3,500 people with offices across the UK, and in Paris and Holland.

Many of its insurance products will be well known to the average man on the street, as will Sergei, Aleksandr Orlov and the rest of the Meerkats; the Peterborough-based company is also responsible for price comparison site comparethemarket.com.

As well as its other innovative insurance products such as Dial Direct and Auto & General, and impressive career opportunities, there's also a strong sense of community within the company, which hosts an annual Dragon Boat Race for its employees and partners and has pledged to raise £3m for charitable causes by 2017.

[1] www.techcityinsider.net/tech-nation-marks-uk-wide-digital-growth/

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