Why the Tech Scene is Far From Grim Up North


In April, it was reported that some of the rising tech stars in Eastern Europe are actively targeting the Northern Powerhouse as part of their growth plans. A joint event hosted by BusinessCloud and the Department for International Trade saw 20 names in European ecommerce pitch to a panel of UK tech giants.

It’s the latest in what’s been a flurry of reports and headlines confirming that, when it comes to tech, it’s time to hit the M6 northbound.

In November 2020, Manchester became the fastest-growing tech city within Europe, second only to London for investment and overtaking Cambridge for the first time. This huge growth was a result of VC investment reaching $687.6m in 2019, up from $199.1m in 2018. A large part of this is thanks to the IPO of regional ecommerce behemoth The Hut Group. 

The tech spotlight has been on the north of England for some time. A 2016 Tech Nation report, produced in association with the RSA and Impact Hub, examined the innovation potential of tech clusters in the north. At the time, the north was home to 283,500 tech employees, accounting for 18% of the nation’s tech workers, and was creating jobs at 10 times the rate of the region’s non-tech sectors. The report also confirmed that Manchester was home to the UK’s largest tech cluster (by employee size) outside of London.

It’s not just Manchester feeling the ‘tech love’

According to research from the Centre for Entrepreneurs, Liverpool is now one of the top 10 places in the UK for tech start-ups. The city has always had strong tech roots thanks to the prominent and start-up-friendly Liverpool Science Park, Sensor City and Edge Lane’s Liverpool Innovation Park, not to mention its strong partnership with Sci-Tech Daresbury. The Merseyside city has also proved that it isn’t just a hotbed for start-ups, with global names in gaming, Sony and Codemasters, establishing a Liverpool presence.

Additionally, growing technology ecosystems in Leeds, Sheffield, Hull and Newcastle are attracting the attention of global investors and, in turn, further encouraging UK talent to head north to seek out the best opportunities in tech. 

Where’s the action? 

Here are the top tech hubs in the north of England in regards to investment, according to the latest Tech Nation report: 

Is the growing tech landscape in the north proof that investments in Northern Powerhouse initiatives have been effective? Or are there other factors to consider? In our next blog, we take a look at the part the Northern Powerhouse has played in the north establishing its thriving tech clusters. 

Connect with top talent in the north

Contact us today to find out how we can help you attract and retain the brightest tech talent for your business. Call our team on 01344 289224 or email info@nufuture.co.uk


Current Jobs