September 2017

Leeds ranks among digital hotspots of the future

Author: White Rose Office Park

New research by HouseSimple has analysed 30 regional digital tech hubs, including London, and ranked each city by average house price, the number of digital jobs and digital tech sector growth potential. Their findings found that Leeds will be one of the digital tech startup hotspots of the future. They are ranked highest of any UK city for a combination of reasons such as property price, number of digital tech jobs and the growth potential of their digital tech economies.

Last year, digital tech investment in the UK reached almost £7 billion, turnover of the UK digital tech industries was £170 billion, and there are now more than 1.6 million digital tech jobs in the UK. The digital tech sector is booming and leading the way with Brexit less than two years away. Chancellor Philip Hammond described Britain as an ‘innovation powerhouse’, and the “digital tech sector is predicted to lead the way when we leave the EU”.   

Alex Gosling, chief executive of HouseSimple, said:

“Regional tech hubs are set to boom over the next few years, as the local digital economies become more established. The regions best placed to take advantage of the investment being pumped into the digital tech sector will be the ones that can offer not just the best job opportunities but also the best quality of life.”

Although London has established itself as one of the world’s top tech capitals, average house prices at £481,345 are three times higher than in Leeds and four times greater than in Glasgow. As a result of the living cost, London only ranks 19th, with the report suggesting that it is vulnerable to a mass withdrawal of digital talent to other thriving regional tech hubs where business costs are cheaper, and housing is considerably more affordable.

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What makes a technical hub?

Tech hubs are formed through encouraging those within the tech industry to the area. Plus it needs to establish itself in a culture where people are connected and where networking is of paramount importance to work life.

For this to happen and for technical hubs to grow it is important that a city builds a strong reputation for highly skilled graduates; if a city is a home to a large or specialised university, that can be a strong start. In today’s fast-moving climate, we need to see an increase in high-quality computing and engineering graduates in particular.

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