Ashford, leading the way in innovative technologiesPosted on 17 August 2020
Ashford, Kent is quickly becoming the South East’s digital hotspot, with industry-leading companies pushing the boundaries in e-commerce, digital marketing, publishing, AR, VR and AI. We take a look at some of the key technology and digital businesses that are growing out of Ashford and have become advocates for the town’s unique location and benefits.
PageSuite is a market-leading digital publishing specialist first established in Ashford in 2006. They have become a global brand with offices in the US, as well as more recently expanding its client base in South America.
The company has always remained true to its Kentish roots and have been located in the heart of the Ashford town centre at Connect 38 since 2018. Their new office has given them space to support their consistent growth and welcome new staff members on board.
With clients and offices in the UK and the USA, PageSuite needs fast access to international trains and airports. Being next to the M20, close to both Gatwick and Heathrow, and just across the road from Ashford International allows them to benefit from the incredible connectivity in Ashford.
Staying in Ashford has also been a tactical choice to access highly-skilled web and app development graduates across Kent, whether from the University of Kent or the Ashford College just across the road.
Launched in 2018, SixPorts has been making some waves within the app development industry and is looking to expand even further by developing new business and consumer solutions using Voice Search, Augmented Reality, Virtual Reality and Artificial Intelligence. One of the key reasons for being located in Ashford, and the iconic Connect 38 office building, is Ashford’s incredible connectivity.
With quick access to London, as well as Europe thanks to the International Station located right across the road from their offices, SixPorts can easily go and meet their clients whether they’re in London or Europe!
Likewise, the company’s clients can also easily reach them. In fact, Six Ports recently had a meeting with a European client, who travelled to their office from Belgium via the Eurostar*: “Our first meeting in our new office was with our clients in Belgium who’d got the train, so that was really amazing, and they were really impressed.”
Since our launch, SixPorts has had many visitors come and check out our new HQ. Many commenting on the local impact we are having… ?— SixPorts (@SixPorts) November 21, 2018
Are you a local business in Kent & have an idea for a digital project? Let us know and drop in!#KentBusiness #CustomApps #EmergingTech pic.twitter.com/evhHw9oKMy
Established in Ashford 2015 by three self-titled creative geeks, Space Between has been at the frontline user experience and e-commerce development thanks to their cutting-edge biometric lab.
Using the latest technology, they have developed an innovative, portable biometric lab which allows them to understand customers better than ever before and get clear insights on how to get the highest conversion rate possible for their clients. With a portfolio boasting the likes of ASOS, LEGOLAND and HRGo, they are making biometric analysis more accessible than before thanks to their experimental approach.
Being based in Ashford has been key to Space Between’s growth. Thanks to quick and easy connections to London, they have benefited from the cheaper business rates whilst still being able to meet their clients in central London in a heartbeat.
The team has also joined the free Scale Up Ashford initiative in April 2018 to unlock its full potential.
With nearly 20 years’ experience in the marketing industry, Visarc has established itself as one of the leading creative and digital agencies in Kent specialising in the automotive industry. They have also been conquering the rest of the UK as well as Europe by recruiting new staff, including an experienced European Account Director and native French, German, Dutch and Italian speakers to reach out to these key markets.
With clients including Ferrari, Maserati, Vespa, SsangYong and Piaggio, the agency works alongside some of the top brands in the UK and Europe and has built a reputation for impactful campaigns including Pay Per Click, SEO and social media.
Another Scale Up Ashford graduate, Visarc has benefited from the team’s incredible experience and knowledge over a year’s coaching sessions. The time in the programme has allowed them to take the time to focus on their business strategy and the direction they want to head in. For information on Visarc’s Scale Up Ashford journey, read the first cohort’s case studies.
Established in 2010, Six Two is a creative, digital agency based in Ashford. Their services include all aspects of web design and development, as well as digital marketing services, such as SEO and PPC. Six Two supports a range of clients of all sizes across Kent, London and the South East, including Cripps Pemberton Greenish, Pavelka and Grizzly’s Custom Bikes.
The company also launched Kent Digital Meetup Ashford, a free monthly networking event, which has grown from strength to strength over recent months. The ambitious team didn’t want to let restrictions during the coronavirus pandemic stop them and transitioned the event into an online format. This has proven to be a success with the business community continuing to grow, even beyond the county.
Six Two has also benefited from the Scale Up Ashford programme, which CEO and co-founder Aaron Taylor attributed to the best three months in the company’s history back in 2018. To learn more about their Scale Up journey, read the blog post here.
Based at Park Mall, Recursive is an independent technology practice, which helps ‘make buildings come alive’ through AV, multimedia and bespoke solutions. The company operates in the UK and internationally with a number of prominent clients in their portfolio, including Bose, Harrods and Puma.
“Their approach and vision for growing creative businesses is outstanding and I can’t imagine a more proactive team.”David Yates, Founder and Managing Director of Recursive
Having relocated from Brighton in 2016, Recursive credits business growth and need for flexible, creative space for the move. Ashford’s connectivity and variety of commercial space has meant their internationally-renowned clients have been able to easily travel from London by train to look at the full-size mock ups the team has created.
Recursive’s Founder and Managing Director, David Yates has also praised the support of Ashford Borough Council. He said: “Their approach and vision for growing creative businesses is outstanding and I can’t imagine a more proactive team.”
For more information about Recursive, read their case study here.
*Please note Eurostar has announced a temporary suspension of services Ashford due to Covid-19 until 2022.