A coastal tech and design revolution and the ‘sea-rial’ entrepreneurs fuelling it


Planned £30m investment consolidates Falmouth’s ‘Silicon Port’ status

Last week, it was announced that Cornwall’s largest game development studio, based in the vibrant hub of Falmouth, was sold to a Swedish firm and is expected to double its staff numbers, hoping to bring a further £30m to the county’s economy.

Falmouth has historically been viewed as an artistic hub thanks to its longstanding College of Arts which has now developed into the hugely respected Falmouth University. Now, with the development of Cornwall’s superfast broadband and improved transport links, it is home to a range of diverse and innovative tech entrepreneurs working on world-class international projects.

Antimatter Games Ltd was founded in 2013 by the team who developed the award-winning game, Rising Storm. The news of its buyout to Swedish studio Toadman Interactive will allow the company to upgrade its premises and double its staff over the next fifteen months. New vacancies will be advertised for talented graduates through to senior roles commanding market-leading salaries.

Antimatter Games Ltd still maintains a strong relationship with Falmouth University and has employed numerous graduates, as well as running a paid internship programme for students. The company is always keen to encourage the development of the local talent pool and is incredibly proud to have a strong bond with the Games Academy at Falmouth University.

The success of Antimatters and the creative enterprises in this innovative ‘port with a purpose’ lies in the year-round business opportunities that are being carved out by a new wave of businesses. Mixing the salt air with their strategies for commercial and technological innovation, plus benefiting from lower living costs and the lifestyle ‘dream’ of a surf, stand-up paddleboard or a sea swim after work, there is no doubt that the business community is thriving.

Based on Discovery Quay which overlooks Falmouth Harbour, is Gendall Design. The agency was set up by Tess Gendall from her garden shed over 30 years ago, and since then it has worked with reputable names such as the National Trust, Eden Project and Away Resorts. Gendall has recently been exploring innovative new technical solutions to empower brands and holidaymakers to find and book short breaks in the UK, proving that location is no obstacle when you have access to superfast broadband and creative talent.

In the neighbouring office you’ll find Jarrang, one of the UK’s leading independent email marketing agencies. Founder Stafford Sumner saw the opportunity back in 2003 to offer a bespoke service – tailor-made, targeted email marketing campaigns. Its enviable coastal location has attracted top creative talent to work for a business whose international clients now range from luxury hotels to financial services organisations.

Wall-to-wall with Gendall Design and Jarrang, is Sanders Studio, a creative communications agency specialising in the evocative depiction of product and place. Being based with its production headquarters in Falmouth – and its marketing suite a stone’s throw from Paddington Station in London – it allows the agency to work on exceptional global projects all the while benefitting from an inspirational coastal environment.

On the other side of town is Stranger Collective, a creative content agency whose imaginative flair is reinforced by an eye-catching window display by installation artist Dan Arnold. The company was co-founded by Helen Gilchrist and Clare Howdle, who say the combination of high-speed broadband, lower overheads and the impressive pool of locally-based writing, illustration, photography and design talent fuel their success creating magazines, websites, verbal identities and campaigns for national and international clients including Arm, Kodak, Visit Britain and Made.com.

In addition to their agency work, Helen and Clare also run a creative club and co-working space in the town called the League of Strangers. Here, like-minded creatives meet through hot-desking and creative breakfasts, as well as a series of events from podcasting and bookbinding workshops to fireside talks and even a 'micro-festival' on a 1930s steam train.

To find out more, to feature any of these highly successful creative and tech businesses or organise a press visit to Falmouth, please contact Else Welde on Else@Excess-energy.co.uk or call 01637 852130.