Silicon Valley has long been known as a leading location for start-ups and high-tech innovation and development in the US, and is largely credited for developing to this status as a result of a combination of factors, one of which was a University in the area (Stanford) which saw the support of the region in business to be a part of its mission. Tech research in the region, combined with significant interest from venture capitalists and regional investment helped form a foundation upon which the success that we see even today was built upon.
Fast forward to today. I returned to the UK, and moved to Cornwall after over a decade around the world in well established hubs for games studios most of which was in California, though predominantly split between LA and Orange County. I moved to Falmouth in Cornwall, and since then a lot of people that I have known around the gaming world have asked me why. This post is a way of both answering those questions in a little more detail as well as hopefully bringing a little more widespread awareness of the potential in this region.
Cornwall has been a human settlement since ancient times, with the sunniest climate, as well as a rich culture and identity with some of the most beautiful surroundings to be found in the United Kingdom.
The region has a lot in common with California, it’s a foodie’s paradise, with well known restaurateurs such as Jamie Oliver and Rick Stein prominent in the area, as well as a host of less famous but excellent other eateries utilising the best of local produce ranging from famed Cornish seafood to the plethora of locally growth meat, fruit and vegetables.
In terms of more dynamic attractions, there’s surf on the North Coast, scuba and flat seas pursuits on the South Coast, both within a 30 minute drive of one another, and with a mass of things to do on land that come from being a popular holiday destination, it’s a great place to work and live. Many of these factors probably sound familiar to Californians, though the cost of living in Cornwall is competitive, something that I know many of my Californian compatriots would envy.
Cornwall is more traditionally known for fishing and mining industries, with a recent history of being one of the poorer areas of the country based on the decline of these sectors. In recent years, the investment in the region to boost its potential as a digital hub has been significant, with high speed broadband rolled out across the region, and a focus on high tech business from local industry and investors.
by Rich Barham, Games Industry Executive