THE boss of a company praised in a new digital report has warned Oxford will not reach its potential as a top tech centre unless the housing crisis is tackled.

Solid State Logic chief executive Antony David said the Begbroke-based firm, which makes digital sound-mixing consoles, has trouble attracting top staff because of high property prices.

He said: “We’ve had a number of interviewees who would love to come and work with us but they see the house prices and run a mile.

“There will have to be an expansion of affordable housing in and around the city because it will never reach its potential as a world-class technical hub if it isn’t allowed to grow.”

Solid State, which employs 140 people, is hailed as a success story in the Tech Nation report published last week by government-backed Tech City UK.

The 28-page review ranks Oxford ninth out of 21 digital clusters around the country, placing it just ahead of long-term rival Cambridge in 10th place.

Oxfordshire’s digital sector employs almost 22,000 people according to Tech Nation and there was a 24 per cent increase in the number of digital ventures launched between 2010 and 2013.

The report identifies edtech, healthtech and software development as areas of growth and singles out St Ebbes-Street based Natural Motion, started by former Oxford University student Torsten Reil and sold for £300m to US games giant Zynga last year.

Other firms highlighted include Dark Blue Labs and Vision Factory, both acquired by Google’s DeepMind division in October, cloud-computing technology firm OmPrompt in Abingdon’s Milton Park and Summertown-based digital healthcare agency Incuna.

OmPrompt chief executive John Wakeman said: “Working within the close community of digital companies in Oxford has been a huge benefit to my company.

“Being able to share expertise, ideas and contacts can be the difference between success and failure when growing a digital business.

“Oxford is rightly being recognised for the opportunities it offers local digital entrepreneurs.”

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