The Prime Minister and Chancellor welcomed the launch of Tech Nation, the first comprehensive analysis of the UK’s digital technology ‘clusters’.

Tech Nation is an interactive data project that shows the growth of digital businesses within specific areas/regions – ‘clusters’ – across the UK. The project has been developed and curated by Tech City UK, the government-backed organisation focused on the UK’s digital economy, in partnership with DueDil.

Tech Nation’s analysis shows that the UK’s tech clusters are driving economic growth nationally and that the growth of digital businesses reaches far beyond the capital.

The Prime Minister said:

Backing the industries of the future is a key part of our long-term economic plan to support business, create more jobs and build a more resilient economy. The digital economy has become an integral part of our country and the rapid growth of many digital businesses has confirmed Britain’s position as a global hub of technology excellence. We are committed to supporting the growth of our digital industry nationwide and Tech Nation shows the great innovation and thriving entrepreneurial spirit that is driving the sector forward across the country.

The Chancellor said:

The UK is a world leader in the technology and digital sectors and what’s so exciting about today’s Tech Nation report is that it shows how we’re seeing the growth of tech businesses right across the country. As part of our plan for a truly national recovery we will do everything we can to support this growth and back the different tech clusters that are emerging around Britain.

Baroness Joanna Shields, Chair of Tech City UK and Digital Adviser to the Prime Minister, said,

The UK is recognised on the world stage for its tech and digital strengths. Today’s report reveals the depth of the sector and the complex array of skills, specialisms and strengths that truly make us a Tech Nation. The unprecedented level of detail and analysis of business starts, revenue and job growth give us a first hand view of the clusters and businesses that make up the UK digital economy. We are a Tech Nation and we hope this project will inspire innovation and growth for years to come.

With 1.46 million digital jobs across the country and 74 percent of digital businesses operating outside of London, the report demonstrates the UK’s digital business revolution is a nationwide growth story.

Tech Nation findings

  • Digital job growth is predicted to outperform all other occupation categories by 2020
  • 1.46 million people – 7.5 percent of the entire UK workforce – are currently employed in the digital industries
  • The highest rates of digital employment exist in Inner London, Bristol & Bath, Reading, Greater Manchester
  • 74 percent of digital companies in the UK operate outside of London
  • The UK’s fastest growing tech clusters in terms of new digital companies formed since 2010 include: Liverpool, Inner London, Belfast, Greater Manchester, Bournemouth, Brighton & Hove, South Wales and Bristol & Bath
  • Clusters with the highest density of digital companies (as a proportion of overall companies) are Brighton & Hove, Inner London, Berkshire (including Reading), Edinburgh and Cambridge
  • Clusters with the highest average company turnover are Greater Manchester, Belfast, Sheffield, Inner London and South Wales
  • 77 percent of digital companies within clusters say they benefit from access to a network of entrepreneurs to interact with and to share ideas