The FibreHub tech collaboration story starts with Toby Parkins and Craig Girvan, co-founders of one of Cornwall’s largest tech companies, Headforwards.
Toby and Craig founded Headforwards in 2011, and have since been instrumental in placing Cornwall’s tech and software sector on the map: Toby was a co-founder of Agile on the Beach which now hosts over 500 international attendees annually on the Cornish coast, and is a director for Software Cornwall and Chair of Tech South West.
Toby says: “Pool was once a huge mining area and a crucible for the industrial revolution. The headgear of what was Cornwall’s last working tin mine, South Crofty, dominates the skyline and we can see it from our office.
“We want FibreHub and FibrePark to be the modern-day equivalent emblems for a new tech revolution in Cornwall. We want young people especially to see that there is cool stuff going on so that they want to be part of it.
“The problem at the moment is that the tech sector is disperse and invisible in Cornwall. People don’t realise that at Headforwards, for example, we employ a multi-national team of people working for clients around the world right here in Pool, and our average salary is £45,000, which is more than twice the Cornwall average.
“Cornwall needs more high-paid jobs which is why we want to foster a cluster of tech businesses in Pool where we can work directly with local schools and Cornwall College to inspire people into tech careers and create the pipeline of talent that our tech businesses need.”
With the support of a number of other partners, FibreHub is the first step towards FibrePark, which would see the creation of an entire tech campus with 7,000 square metres of employment and creative learning space, next generation connectivity and a new Digital Academy on the Cornwall College campus.
Toby says: “Cornwall is a thriving community for tech businesses and we’ve got a stronger voice and a bigger impact when we collect together.
“Many businesses have similar challenges, and they all need flexible workspaces, rapid internet connectivity and a community where they can share ideas and collaboration is key. FibreHub offers all those components in one place.”