Research crowns Yorkshire the best place to grow a tech business

New research reveals that Yorkshire has seen a higher rate of growth in the digital sector over the past three years than anywhere else in the country.

19 February 2020

New research launched this month by Leeds City Region Enterprise Partnership (the LEP) reveals that Yorkshire has seen a higher rate of growth in the digital sector over the past three years than anywhere else in the country.

The analysis showcases Yorkshire’s huge 48% increase in digital tech jobs over the past three years. This increase has meant that tech jobs within the region have risen from 58,000 to 86,000 and is the highest growth rate by far, outpacing the rest of the UK, including London.

According to the new findings, the regions showing the highest levels of growth are: 

  1. Yorkshire and the Humber (48%)
  2. Wales (29%)
  3. East Midlands (27%)
  4. South West (20%)
  5. Scotland (18%)

Delving further into the 86,000 tech employees based in Yorkshire, two-thirds are based within the Leeds City Region (66%), which is no surprise considering its reputation as a thriving digital hub.

Alongside a huge increase in tech employees, the region has seen a 313% increase in venture capital investment between 2014 to 2019. Other key facts which help Yorkshire stand out from the crowd when it comes to tech include the 8,695 digital tech businesses and a digital tech turnover of £3.67bn. 

Roger Marsh OBE DL, Chair of the LEP and NP11, commented: “Our research highlights that the northern tech scene is thriving, with so many fantastic opportunities for entrepreneurs to grow their businesses here. We’re extremely proud to see that Yorkshire has the highest growth rate in terms of digital employment in the country, which we predict to continue as workers begin to seek more affordable options outside of the capital and the commuter belt.

“We have a great talent pool, with Leeds City Region boasting nine universities and of course the new offices for Channel 4. Over the past few years we have seen such an increase in not only tech giants relocating to our region, but also exciting and innovative start-ups setting up shop here.

“We’re looking forward to seeing how the tech scene develops further over the next five years. To support that growth, we’ve launched #Welcome, a £2.4 million digital inward investment fund to support tech companies new to the region.”

Tech entrepreneur Anna Sutton, CEO of The Data Shed, said:

“We set up The Data Shed in Leeds six years ago now and have thrived because of the amazing businesses and talent in the region that have supported the growth of the consultancy.

“The Leeds Digital Festival in April pulls us all together every year and facilitates a real spirit of collaboration.”

David Craig, Co-Director of Bradford-based co-working space The Assembly said:

“The Leeds City Region has a wealth of talent when it comes to tech and creativity. You can have a better quality of life and lower overheads, which means you can take more risks and that’s useful for growing a small business.”


If you are interested in locating your tech business in the region, click here to find out more about #welcome grant funding and support. To find out more about Leeds City Region, the UK's Digital Heartland, click here.