Leeds tops the UK league table for digital growth

Yorkshire has seen a 48% growth in its digital sector just three years, making it the fastest-growing tech region in the UK, according to new data.

New research has revealed the area has enjoyed huge growth in digital tech jobs since 2017, with the number of people employed in the sector increasing from 58,000 to 86,000.

This rate of growth outpaces the rest of the UK, including London, and is the highest growth rate by far, with the next highest being Wales at 29%.

And although Yorkshire as a whole is doing well, its success is being underpinned by the city of Leeds.

Indeed, of the 86,000 tech employees in Yorkshire, two-thirds are based within the Leeds City Region (66%) – a fact which comes as no surprise considering its reputation as a thriving digital hub.

This is further reflected in the 312% increase in VC investment in the region over the past five years.

Roger Marsh, Chair of the Leeds City Region Local Enterprise Partnership, said: “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 some 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 £2.4m digital inward investment fund to support tech companies new to region locate here.”

And tech entrepreneur Anna Sutton, CEO of The Data Shed, said: “We set up The Data Shed in Leeds six years ago now – we’ve 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.”