The town of Cambridge is situated approximately 50 miles north-east of central London. Cambridge has one of the highest proportions of professional workers in the United Kingdom, and as such has a thriving economy. We shall look at Cambridge UK economy in today’s guide.
History of Cambridge UK Economy
Cambridge has had an interesting economy every since records began, due to the presence of the University of Cambridge in the centre, which has had a significant effect on the Cambridge UK economy.
The town began as a crossing place for the River Cam. The River Cam provided a direct route to Kings Lynn on the east coast of the UK and as such became an important route for trading goods with Europe.
The town of Cambridge is surrounded by abundant and good-quality farmland and has always had a popular market that attracts both locals and others from further afar. Farm produce used to be a significant part of Cambridge’s economy.
Current Economy of Cambridge UK
The economy of Cambridge UK has been and still is very strong. Cambridge acts as an economic and entertainment hub for the surrounding county of Cambridgeshire and other nearby areas. The shopping and entertainment in Cambridge is the best in the region and many people travel to Cambridge to do their shopping or to go out.
Cambridge University is one of the most influential parts of Cambridge UK economy. There are many ways in which it helps the economy. The university employs over 8,000 staff members across the colleges, many of which live in and around Cambridge. The university provides a huge amount of jobs – both directly and indirectly – for the people of Cambridge.
At any one time there are over 18,000 students studying in Cambridge, all of whom have to eat, be accommodated, entertained etc… which is a massive boost to the Cambridge UK economy.
There are many businesses that are associated with the university as well, which are an important part of the town’s economy. We shall look at Silicon Fen and Cambridge University Press – two of the most significant businesses – in more detail below.
Cambridge University Press
Cambridge University Press is the oldest printer and publisher in the world and also the world’s largest academic press. As you can imagine, this brings a huge amount of money into the town’s economy.
Cambridge University Press is a not-for-profit organisation that sells millions of books to schools, students and universities around the world.
It is estimated that the annual revenue for the Cambridge University Press is over 205.1 million British Pounds per year.
Cambridge’s ‘Silicon Fen’
Another off-shoot of Cambridge University is the so-called ‘Silicon Fen’ a play on the famous ‘Silicon Valley’ in the USA.
Silicon Fen is said to be the second largest venture capital market in the world. It is estimated that over 250 active startup companies were directly linked with the university and altogether were worth over US$6 billion.
Silicon Fen was created in 1970 when the most famous of the town’s colleges – Trinity College – bought and developed some land on the north-eastern border of Cambridge into a Science Park. Other colleges followed in subsequent years and it has become what is often referred to as the ‘Cambridge Phenomena’.
Many of the world’s most influential and largest companies have offices or headquarters in Cambridge, which have provided a huge amount of jobs to locals and also attracted skilled workers from around the country and overseas. Some of the companies that call Cambridge home include: Microsoft, Abcam, CSR, ARM Limited, Jagex and Sinclair.
Tourism in Cambridge
The town and university attract over three and a half million visitors from around the world each year. As well as the university, the town itself has a huge amount of historical significance, which adds to the appeal of Cambridge as a tourism destination.
While the town does not actively promote tourism in the town, it does accommodate it and it does provide a lot of money for Cambridge.
There are a huge number of hotels, tours, activities and more that are specifically aimed at tourists. Many jobs in Cambridge are in the tourism industry.