Tech Nation Survey highlights importance of North East in boosting UK’s digital economy

The UK’s digital industries, which boast a combined annual turnover of £161 billion, are said to be growing 32% faster than the rest of the economy.

Government-backed Tech City UK published the findings in its Tech Nation 2016 report, said to be the most comprehensive study of the UK’s tech industries to date.

The report reaffirms the role digital tech businesses are playing in boosting economies across the North of England, with such boosts particularly prevalent in the North East.

Newcastle & Durham generated the second highest advertised digital salary growth of any cluster in the UK, standing at an impressive 26.6%.

These areas also have a turnover growth rate of 29% and GVA growth rate of 35%, supporting the region’s credibility to act as the tech vanguard, should the Northern Powerhouse gain traction.

Perhaps most interestingly, the report found that digital tech businesses in the cluster are more likely than any other to receive support from an accelerator, and the second most likely to receive mentoring support. Dynamo, Campus North and Ignite 100 are amongst the organisations providing support to the digital tech ecosystem.

Moreover, Sunderland has enjoyed steady growth, with employment rising by almost 17% since 2010. In addition to a long-standing specialism in App & Software Development, Sunderland’s growing expertise in Hardware, Gaming and Telecommunications were highlighted in the report.

Businesses within the cluster recorded an average 44% growth in turnover (2010-2014) and 29% growth in GVA (2010-2014). This was in no small part down to organisations such as Sunderland Software City.

Tech Nation 2016 found the digital tech economy has a strong impact on employment throughout the North of England, with 283,515 people employed in the sector.

Herb Kim, Executive Chair of Tech North, said: “Tech Nation 2016 provides an unprecedented insight into the growing economic importance of the North’s digital businesses.

“This report not only demonstrates the extraordinary growth rate of our digital tech industry, but also its profound influence on non-digital industries.

“We hope Tech Nation’s findings will prove invaluable to industry, investors and digital businesses themselves, acting as a detailed topography of the UK’s digital economy and signposting where future opportunities lie.“


Article by Jamie Hardesty (Source:

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