New research reveals the best place to grow a tech business in the UK

  • New data reveals the best UK regions to grow a tech business
  • Digital growth in Yorkshire outpaces rest of the UK, including London
  • Ranking considers digital employment levels, turnover, productivity, number of tech businesses and Venture Capital (VC) investments

Yorkshire has seen a higher rate of growth in the digital sector over the past three years than anywhere else in the country, according to new data.

The research shows that Yorkshire has seen an increase of 48% in digital tech jobs over the past three years, 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 the Wales at 29%.

According to the 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%)

Using these findings, Leeds City Region Enterprise Partnership (the LEP) has developed a new ranking based on technology business data, including digital employment levels, turnover, productivity, number of tech businesses and VC investments, to predict what the future may hold for the Yorkshire region.

According to the ranking*, the top places to run a tech business outside of London at the moment are the Midlands, Yorkshire, East of England and Wales.

The ranking shows the current state of play for digital businesses in the UK, however, with the rate of growth in Yorkshire outperforming the rest of the country, it’s estimated that this region will take the top spot in the near future.

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

The Midlands tops the list overall, however, this region saw one of the lowest rankings in terms of VC investment increases. With a 73% increase in VC investments over the last five years, the Midlands appears in eighth position, in comparison to the 369% increase in the East of England, 313% increase in Wales and 312% increase in Yorkshire.

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 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 £2.4 million digital inward investment fund to support tech companies new to region locate here.”


Tech entrepreneur Anna Sutton, CEO, 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.”

To find out more about the new research please visit