The UK’s Northern Technology Sector is Leading the Way in Tech Innovation

  • FinTech StartUps
  • 16.12.2020 05:38 pm

The North East of England, Northern Ireland, Scotland and Yorkshire & Humber are fast becoming new powerhouses for UK tech innovation. 

An initiative from London Tech Week and UK Tech Cluster Group today highlights the critical levelling up taking place across the UK tech ecosystem showing how these regions are playing an increasingly important role. 

Leading global tech brands are choosing to set up in these areas, which are also now fertile breeding grounds for some of the very best startups and SMEs in the sector. 

The encouraging geographical shift is highlighted in the first four reports from the ‘12 Clusters of Tech initiative’, which is definitively mapping the whole of UK tech. 

These reports are the first in a series of twelve, which together will show key technology trends and provide an invaluable guide to every corner of Britain's tech community.

The reports show the rise of different types of tech across the regions. In the North East, AI and immersive tech are flourishing. In Northern Ireland, HealthTech and Fintech are dominating and in Scotland cyber security and mobility as a service are growing fast.

Recent research from GP Bullhound highlights that the fastest-growing northern tech companies are well distributed across the whole of the region — but particularly in the North West and Yorkshire. 

Additionally, according to a recent survey, London and Manchester are neck and neck as the top destinations when it comes to tech workers choosing where to locate, with 18% and 15% respectively settling for the two locations — demonstrating that London is no longer the automatic choice for tech in the UK.

To date, there are over 12 technology businesses which have been founded in the North that have reached unicorn status, including e-commerce giants The Hut Group and Boohoo.

Digital Minister, Caroline Dinenage, said: “It is great to see the growth of the tech sector across the UK's regions and nations helping to create jobs, attract investment and drive economic recovery.

"The 12 Clusters of Tech Report gives valuable insight into our regional tech specialisms and will help us develop effective policy as we work to make the UK the best place to start and grow a digital business."

London Tech Week Festival Director, Suzy Pallett, said: “This initiative is all about shining a spotlight on the whole of the UK and celebrating the very best of tech, to take our understanding of what this country has to offer a stage further.

“The first four reports make fascinating reading and show clearly that every part of the UK we have visited so far has something impressive to offer. There is much to be proud of and a genuine depth of talent, which will no doubt play a key role in helping rebuild our economy during these difficult times.” 

Dr David Dunn, Chair, UK Tech Cluster Group, said: “I am delighted we have partnered with London Tech Week on the development of 12 Clusters of Tech. We are highlighting some of the amazing companies from across the UK and showcasing technology to the rest of the world. 

“From exciting startups to established employment powerhouses, there is a lot to revere across our ecosystems and we are proud to tell the story of UK tech by spotlighting the businesses leading the charge.”

12 Clusters of Tech Reports will follow for North West (January), Wales (February), West Midlands (March), East Midlands (April), East of England (May), London (June), South East (July) and South West (August). 

Once published, all the downloadable reports are available here.

Tech businesses, large or small, who are passionate about the sector and interested in being featured in upcoming reports should get in touch at

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