BATH is establishing itself as a centre of technological excellence with several of the faster growing IT companies in the south. This is the encouraging finding of a survey by chartered accountants and management cousultants Deloitte and Touche. It highlights three local companies which have impressive growth rates and increasing client bases across Europe, America and beyond.
The firms, Global Software Services, Netcraft Ltd and Flare Software Systems plc are by no means household names. They are, however, at the cutting edge of Bath's economy as we go into the new millenium. This type of company, generally set up in the late 1980s or early 1990s has embraced new technologies with both hands. They recognised early on that an economic revolution was taking place on a global scale and were not afraid of it.
The fact that firms such as these choose set up in and around Bath says a lot for our city. The nature of these businesses is that there is generally no restriction on where they can locate. In many cases they can choose which part of the country they would like to be in on the grounds of lifestyle. There are, of course, other factors such as links with educational or research establishments, but in Bath's case this is not a problem.
The launch last week of a new forum in Bath for businesses, the University of Bath and local politicians, was further evidence that our city recognises that it has a lot to offer the cutting edge firms and should stand up and shout about it. The days of heavy industry in Bath when cranes dotted the horizon along the riverbank are long gone. Other traditional industries have also closed or been dramatically reduced in size. That may be sad, but its a fact. Bath needs to look to the future and tell the world what an attractive place it is to set up a business.
Global Software Services grew by 707 per cent in the three years from 1995, while Netcraft has seen a 300 per cent growth. These figures speak for themselves. These are the firms we need to attract.