Sunderland enjoys ‘most new tech businesses’ in UK

David Dunn

Sunderland enjoys ‘most new tech businesses’ in UK

The Tech Nation 2017 report, the most comprehensive analysis of the UK’s Digital Tech economy produced by Tech City UK, highlights success across the North with Sunderland enjoying particular success.

Tech Nation 2017 shows that the UK digital tech sector is one of the country’s economic success stories, growing twice as fast as the rest of the economy and creating and additional 85,000 highly skilled workers and well-paid jobs in the past year.

The report highlights the growth of the sector in Sunderland, with the turnover of digital tech businesses in Sunderland growing by 101% between 2011 and 2015.

Overall, the report shows demonstrates that the digital technology sector is generating significant economic growth nationwide, turning over an estimated £170 billion in 2015 and growing at twice the rate of the rest of the economy.

The report also found that the sector is generating significant employment opportunities, with an additional 85,000 jobs nationwide over the past year and a 13% increase in advertised salaries of digital tech posts.

However, over half of all respondents reported that the technical skills shortage was a major challenge, with employers stating that finding employees with the right skills was a barrier to growth.

Key findings for Sunderland:

5,742 Tech jobs
Digital GVA £148 million
Sunderland has the highest digital tech business birth rate in the UK, with a 19.3% increase and an overall 18% increase in number of digital tech businesses (2011 – 15)
These businesses recorded a 101% increase in digital turnover growth (2011-15) with high levels of optimism amongst Sunderland digital tech workers- 81% rate as good.
63% rate quality of life as good, and with a salary to house price ratio scoring as one of the best in the country.
91% of respondents stated the city’s digital infrastructure was good, whilst availability of affordable property also scored highly.

David Dunn, CEO, Sunderland Software City, said: “Tech Nation 2017 confirms that Sunderland and the wider North East is one of the best places in the UK to start and grow a digital tech business, with high levels of optimism driven by wide availability of agile business support tailored to the needs of industry, world-class digital infrastructure and affordable property.

“The North East is fast becoming the UK’s home of digitally-driven innovation and whilst these findings demonstrate great momentum we must focus on working collaboratively with stakeholders to ensure that the talent pipeline can support this impressive growth.”

Tech Nation 2017 was compiled from more than 2,700 survey responses from those working in the digital technology sector, an additional 1,000 data points, from details provided by 220 nationwide community partners, 30 UK tech clusters and case studies of 61 company founders, making this the most comprehensive study to date on the UK’s tech ecosystem.