Cambridge has been revealed as the leading regional tech city in the UK thanks to its combination of high levels of venture capital funding and rounds, advertised tech salaries and number of unicorns and futurecorns.
According to an analysis for the UK’s Digital Economy Council by Dealroom and job search engine Adzuna, Manchester only narrowly missed out on the top spot to Cambridge.
These two cities were followed by Oxford, Edinburgh, Bristol, Leeds, Birmingham, Newcastle, Cardiff and Belfast which all made up the top 10.
The number of tech positions in Manchester increased by 164.6 per cent in 2021 and the highest advertised average salaries outside London were in Edinburgh (£58,405).
This regional growth took place against the backdrop of a brilliant year for the UK tech industry. Tech investment grew by 2.3 times from £11.5bn in 2020 to reach £29.4bn this year, the highest growth since 2013 to 2014.
UK tech investment accounted for a third of the total £89.5bn that flowed into the European tech ecosystem this year.
The £29.4bn raised by UK start-ups and scale-ups was double the figure raised in Germany (£14.7bn) and almost three times what was raised by French companies (£9.7bn).
2021 was a record year for UK venture capital firms, raising £7bn.
The majority of the money coming into UK tech was from the US, with 37 per cent of all funding coming from the States, up from 31.5 per cent last year.
29 UK unicorns were created this year, taking the UK’s total unicorn figure to 115 meaning 25 per cent of the UK’s total unicorns were created in 2021 alone. The UK now has more unicorns than France (31) and Germany (56) combined.
Of all the unicorns created in the UK, 35 per cent are outside of London and 35 per cent of futurecorns are also based outside of the capital.
There has been a 50 per cent rise in overall UK tech job vacancies advertised this year compared to 2020’s figures, with advertised tech vacancies reaching 160,887 in November.
“It’s been another record-breaking year for UK tech with innovative British start-ups helping solve some of the world’s biggest challenges,” said digital minister Chris Philp.
“Capitalising on this fantastic investment across the country is a crucial part of our mission to level up, so we are supporting businesses with pro-innovation policies and helping people to get the skills they need to thrive in this dynamic industry.”
“With such a record tech investment year, it’s becoming increasingly evident that the UK is very good at rearing and cultivating start-ups and scale-ups into successful global companies right across the UK, unlike its continental European neighbours, where it tends to be more in capital cities,” said Gerard Grech, founding chief executive of Tech Nation.
“A true network of digital excellence is emerging right across the country through entrepreneurship, driving new job and wealth creation.
“Tech Nation is committed to identifying and fuelling the growth of these high-potential businesses through its programs and initiatives, removing geographic and financial barriers as quickly as possible.”