The future is looking very bright for the city’s ever-growing tech scene.
Leeds has become a formidable tech hub, strong enough and diverse enough to compete on a national scale. But even as our reputation grows, so too does our ambition. Our accomplishments today are just a drop in the ocean compared to what we can achieve in the future – indeed, they’re a sign, of exciting things to come. Find out what’s changed and why our mission to become the next major tech city is gaining momentum.
We’re already getting attention and with good reason
Leeds has already established itself as a thriving tech hub. The digital sector now contributes £1.3 billion to the city’s economy and £6.5 billion to the wider region. We have two tech unicorns in our midst and 19 of the North’s Fastest Growing Tech Businesses. But there’s still so much more that we can do. The ambition now is to build on what we have and use our strong roots in healthcare and financial services to become a world leader in MedTech and FinTech.
We’re building a dynamic digital ecosystem
As the community continues to grow, it opens the door for new collaborations and partnerships that can transform businesses. As a city, as an industry, we want to help each other succeed, and that passion has given birth to events like Leeds Digital Festival, where networking and shared learning intersect. But it’s not just that. From co-working spaces to tech accelerators and innovation centres, our digital ecosystem gets better every year.
We have the fastest scale-up growth in the North
It’s no secret that Leeds has a strong start-up culture, but it’s scale-ups that really rule the roost here. According to Beauhurst’s 2018 Scale Up Index, the Leeds City Region has 209 visible scale-ups. That’s more than anywhere else in the North. In fact, Leeds has the highest concentration of scale-ups outside London. It just goes to show that Leeds is a place where innovative new businesses can thrive, and as more start-ups make the transition to scale-up, we’ll cement our place as the tech hub to watch.
We set the northern record for tech investment
Leeds raked in a massive £108.8 million of tech investment in 2018, setting a new northern record. That money is now being used to drive growth across the region – it could even help produce a new generation of tech unicorns. Data Commons for UK Tech, a new collaboration between Tech Nation and Dealroom, identified two companies with the potential to become $1 billion businesses, Crisp Thinking and Pharmacy2U, and if we continue to attract this level of investment, they could be just the beginning.
We have a constant flow of new talent
The tech industry is facing a global skills shortage, but Leeds has a secret weapon – a robust talent stream that offers a constant flow of new recruits. As a region, we produce 38,900 graduates every year, 15,000 of which come from STEAM subjects, and many of them stick around. Even better, the universities work hand-in-hand with local businesses to make sure their grads are industry-ready, so when they land their first job, they’ll hit the ground running. And with events like the Leeds Digital Job Fair bringing more people into the industry and the city, we’re taking real action to narrow the skills gap.