Tech firm moves to new Derby HQ

Chris Hotham and Keith Cox

Tech business Bloc Digital and University of Derby are announcing a new working partnership and the relocation of Bloc’s digital visualisation studio to the University’s Enterprise Centre.

The move follows a period of global growth for Bloc, which provides 3D modelling, animation, virtual and augmented realities and web solutions.

Blocc was founded as a start-up in 2000 by Keith Cox and Chris Hotham.

Rapid expansion in the last three years has seen the company create a wider Bloc family with three new specialist creative content divisions; Bloc Media (film, broadcasting, arts and heritage audiences) Bloc Creative (branding and marketing) and Bloc Arch-Viz (architectural and property sectors). It now employs 50 people across its head office in Derby, architectural base in Bournemouth, and its recently opened an office in North America.

Hotham said: “We’re delighted to be taking up residence at the Enterprise Centre; it reflects the forward thinking and progressive nature of our business and responds to the growth in our workforce and services.

“This move brings our disciplines and divisions together in a modern purpose built location with the ability to expand our creative and technical studio spaces.

Professor Warren Manning, Provost – Innovation and Research at the University of Derby, said: “We are delighted to welcome Bloc Digital to the Enterprise Centre, which underlines the long and very productive relationship the University has enjoyed with one of the city’s most innovative companies.

“The combination of our academics’ expertise and the presence of a company specialising in the use of cutting-edge technology for business will hopefully inspire our students as they look to become game-changers and innovators in their future careers.

”We also look forward to collaborative ventures with Bloc to provide new services for business, which will be vital as we aim to drive forward the economic recovery for Derby and the wider region.”

The relocation will take place over the summer 2020 with the launch of Bloc at the Enterprise Centre in September.

Keith Cox said: “Our recent business growth is driven by investment in Research and Development, particularly advancing our international reputation in VR & AR familiarisation experiences and training platforms.”

“This move also builds on the strong research partnerships between ourselves and the University, including our three Knowledge Transfer Partnerships”.

“The on-going collaboration potential it offers places Bloc in an strategic position to continue our innovation and investment in new visualisation and immersive technologies which, in turn, will enable the wider businesses community to work and communicate smarter and with impact.”

One of the first collaborative projects will see the University and Bloc create of an immersive technology demonstration hub which will allow businesses within the city and wider region to explore and utilise new communication and visualisation technology and services.