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Anna Duggal
Anna Duggal
  • 3 Minute Read
  • 17th March 2014

Upcoming UK tech hubs to watch

Within the UK, London has long been known as the epicentre of business – with 22% of the country’s economic output coming from there, according to the Office for National Statistics.

Last year alone, the city saw 15,000 new start-ups in the Tech City area, between Old Street and Clerkenwell. But now, other UK cities are challenging this long standing tradition and using their location, able workforce and economic growth to rise in influence.


The city has always been popular, as it boasts a great nightlife, shopping culture, reputable music scene, good (questionable!) football teams and, increasingly so, job prospects, since companies such as the BBC have moved onto the block.

In a recent article from The Guardian, they spoke to Doug Ward, Chief Executive of office space provider TechHub Manchester, who has managed to attract 55 businesses to the centre, most tech entrepreneurial start ups. The company are luring young entrepreneurs in with not only the offer of a job, but with the same social perks as London Tech City, hosting events such as ‘Silicon Drinkabout Manchester’ where likeminded ‘techies’ can meet, socialise, share ideas and enjoy the great city around them.

There are great universities churning out able graduates in and around the city and the rent prices are decidedly cheaper than London, but with London still within a two hour commute when needed.

With a foot firmly in the door, the city looks likely to continue to grow, so Manchester is definitely one to keep an eye on!


Birmingham has undergone a significant makeover over the last few years. They have always benefited from location, as a pretty central spot within the UK, but buildings like their new £189 million library show that the city means business when it comes to economic and social growth.

Birmingham recently launched a “Big City Plan” with the aim to expand the city centre’s industries, through creating economic hubs for industries still new to the area. In a recent article, a case study of Innovation Birmingham Complex showed that they currently house 86 technology companies. They offer the companies socialising events such as “Tech Wednesdays”, free office space and an ‘Entrepreneurs for the future’ programme, to encourage business to be able to grow and thrive in the area.

The city also want to expand worldwide links and hope to finish completing Birmingham Airport’s runway extension in June, which will allow the airport to handle jumbo jets from areas such as West Coast USA, China and South Africa.


Brighton featured in the news a lot last week, as a new deal hopes to offer the city £170million of investment and 8,500 jobs. This isn't the only reason the city is set to grow though.

Brighton has long been known for its litter of digital and new media companies setting up in the area, due to the idyllic seaside location, affordable living costs and relaxed atmosphere in the seaside town. This is an ideal location from which to work, play, live with a family and enjoy the peace and tranquillity London will never quite offer.

There are many business 'success stories' in the city, according to the Telegraph, including US tech giants Dyn, who recently moved into Brighton. Chief Revenue Officer Kyle York said their reasons for the location were, "It was a cultural fit. We wanted a city that combined a vibrant employee pool with a high quality of life. We found that in Brighton and we intend on growing a global power there to service the region."

As to their new, government supported deal, Greg Clark, Minister for Cities, said: “Brighton’s tech cluster has grown from very little 10 years ago to having 1,500 businesses today. It’s already making a huge impact on Brighton’s economic performance, and this City Deal will help accelerate its growth by ensuring that it can provide the space and infrastructure for high-value creative-technological businesses to grow. It can help turn Brighton into one of the most prosperous cities in the UK.”

With support and investment in other UK cities, it will be great to see job, economy and social growth more evenly spread around the country.

Technology allows such agile working that as entrepreneurs take up location and global business moves into the UK, they now have a range of towns and cities in more central, rural but still economically significant locations.

Long may the tech spirit grow!