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Clusters mapped

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Tech City UK classed 58,000 of the UK’s 320,000 businesses as being involved in digital tech

There are more than 1.5 million “digital tech” jobs in the UK, and the sector is said to be growing faster in terms of turnover and productivity than the wider economy.

Those assertions were outlined in a report from the Tech City UK quango a little while back, which highlighted how many of the innovation-focused enterprises had benefited from clustering together.

To mark the BBC’s Tech Talent week, we’ve revisited the study and focused on the areas where there are at least 7,000 digital tech jobs.

What’s striking is that at first glance, the numbers seem to confirm that London’s cluster is well ahead of any other – and indeed the capital hosts several of tech’s better-known names.

But once you combine the data with official population statistics, another picture emerges.

Based on a calculation of how many tech jobs there are per head of the local population, Cambridge, Reading and Bracknell, and Oxford and Abingdon take the lead. It’s no coincidence that all three have universities with strong reputations for science, engineering and computing.

Southampton and Manchester also do well. And Ipswich is another standout, thanks to the fact that many firms there have congregated around the headquarters of BT Research – the telecoms firm’s R&D division.

The figures should still be treated with caution: Tech City UK may have been generous in the way it defined some of the jobs as being tech-related.

And it’s also notable how few of the firms in the list below are the kind of household names you would associate with Silicon Valley.


London

Digital tech jobs: 328,000

Tech jobs per 1,000 residents: four

Specialisms: Financial tech, social networks, digital media

Foreign-owned firms: Amazon, Facebook, Google, Microsoft

Locally headquartered: Shazam, Transferwise, Deliveroo, Citymapper


Manchester

Digital tech jobs: 52,000

Tech jobs per 1,000 residents: 10

Specialisms: App development, digital marketing, digital entertainment

Foreign-owned firms: Google, Priceline

Locally headquartered: Apadmi, The Lad Bible, PushDoctor


Reading & Bracknell Forest

Digital tech jobs: 40,000

Tech jobs per 1,000 residents: 14

Specialisms: Cybersecurity, business software, data analytics

Foreign-owned firms: Nvidia, Microsoft, Symantec, Wipro

Locally headquartered: Altitude Angel, Cloud Direct, Fantoo


Bristol & Bath

Digital tech jobs: 37,000

Tech jobs per 1,000 residents: six

Specialisms: Education tech, semiconductors, video games

Foreign-owned firms: Amazon, HP, Oracle, Unity

Locally headquartered: Opposable Games, Tribal Group, Xmos


Birmingham

Digital tech jobs: 36,000

Tech jobs per 1,000 residents: three

Specialisms: Business software, Online gambling

Foreign-owned firms: N/A

Locally headquartered: Majestic, Yumzee, Intouch Games


Glasgow

Digital tech jobs: 26,000

Tech jobs per 1,000 residents: four

Specialisms: Cloud computing, e-commerce, financial tech

Foreign-owned firms: Cloudwick Technology, FanDuel

Locally headquartered: Iomart, M Squared Lasers, SwarmOnline


Oxford & Abingdon

Digital tech jobs: 25,000

Tech jobs per 1,000 residents: 13

Specialisms: Cybersecurity, cloud computing, video games, health tech

Foreign-owned firms: Proofpoint, Tripadvisor, Zynga

Locally headquartered: Rebellion, Sophos, Oxford Instruments


Southampton

Digital tech jobs: 25,000

Tech jobs per 1,000 residents: 10

Specialisms: Hardware, e-commerce, data analytics

Foreign-owned firms: Artificial Solutions, Pivotal Software

Locally headquartered: Symetrica, nquiringminds, SPI Lasers


Leeds

Digital tech jobs: 24,000

Tech jobs per 1,000 residents: three

Specialisms: App development, e-commerce, video games

Foreign-owned firms: Rockstar Games

Locally headquartered: Double Eleven, Sky Bet, Instantcart


Newcastle & County Durham

Digital tech jobs: 22,000

Tech jobs per 1,000 residents: three

Specialisms: Financial tech, analytics, video games

Foreign-owned firms: Ubisoft, Epic Games, CCP Games

Locally headquartered: Sage, Orchard Systems, Eutechnyx


Edinburgh

Digital tech jobs: 21,000

Tech jobs per 1,000 residents: four

Specialisms: Financial tech, health tech, e-commerce

Foreign-owned firms: Amazon, Rockstar, FanDuel, Toshiba

Locally headquartered: Axios Systems, Craneware, Skyscanner


Leicester

Digital tech jobs: 21,000

Tech jobs per 1,000 residents: six

Specialisms: Business software, app development, financial tech

Foreign-owned firms: IBM, West Corp

Locally headquartered: Signature Digital, Jadu, Boop.js


Liverpool

Digital tech jobs: 20,000

Tech jobs per 1,000 residents: four

Specialisms: App development, video games

Foreign-owned firms: ConcertCare

Locally headquartered: Lucid Games, Firesprite, LivingLens


Cardiff & Swansea

Digital tech jobs: 19,000

Tech jobs per 1,000 residents: three

Specialisms: Financial tech, business software development, medical tech

Foreign-owned firms: Alert Logic

Locally headquartered: Confused.com, Energist Medical Group, Dezrez


Cambridge

Digital tech jobs: 19,000

Tech jobs per 1,000 residents: 15

Specialisms: Artificial intelligence, internet-of-things, data analytics

Foreign-owned firms: ARM, Apple, Amazon, Microsoft, Qualcomm, Spotify

Locally headquartered: Darktrace, Frontier Developments, Featurespace


Brighton

Digital tech jobs: 16,000

Tech jobs per 1,000 residents: six

Specialisms: Video games, app development, data analytics

Foreign-owned firms: American Express

Locally headquartered: BossAlien, Brandwatch, West Pier Studio


Sheffield & Rotherham

Digital tech jobs: 14,000

Tech jobs per 1,000 residents: two

Specialisms: Hardware, business software development, e-commerce

Foreign-owned firms: Wandisco, Ultimate Drone, NXP

Locally headquartered: Desq, Sumo Digital, Xactium


Bournemouth & Poole

Digital tech jobs: 14,000

Tech jobs per 1,000 residents: four

Specialisms: App development, telecommunications, video games

Foreign-owned firms: Wanda Group

Locally headquartered: Amuzo, Oak Innovation, Redweb


Exeter & Newton Abbot

Digital tech jobs: 11,000

Tech jobs per 1,000 residents: seven

Specialisms: E-commerce, education tech

Foreign-owned companies: N/A

Locally headquartered: Crowdcube, Dashboard, Sparx


Ipswich

Digital tech jobs: 10,000

Tech jobs per 1,000 residents: seven

Specialisms: E-commerce, digital advertising, app development

Foreign-owned firms: Intel, Huawei, Ericsson

Locally headquartered: BT Research, Coderus, Kcom


Belfast

Digital tech jobs: 8,000

Tech jobs per 1,000 residents: two

Specialisms: Business software development, cybersecurity

Foreign-owned firms: Oracle, Philips, SpotX

Locally headquartered: Neueda, Kainos, RepKnight


Worcester & Malvern Hills

Digital tech jobs: 7,000

Tech jobs per 1,000 residents: four

Specialisms: Cybersecurity, app development

Foreign-owned firms: Lockheed Martin, Yamazaki Mazak

Locally headquartered: Deep-Secure, D-Risq, Encription

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