Top tech hubs in the East of England

East of England

The latest Tech Nation report from Tech City UK covers 30 tech clusters across the UK, with three of these located in the East of England: Cambridge, Ipswich and Norwich.

Together, these three clusters employ over 47,700 people in digital tech jobs.

Here’s a quick glimpse at what’s going on in each of these hubs:

Tech in Cambridge

According to the report, there are 30,219 digital tech economy jobs in Cambridge, with those working in the sector commanding an average salary of £46,730. This is significantly higher than the average non-digital salary of £34,651.

The amount the area’s tech sector generates after its cost of operation is deducted (its Gross Value Added, or GVA) averaged £867m from 2013-2015, which is higher than many of the UK’s other growing tech hubs, such as Edinburgh (£513m), Leeds (£688m) and Nottingham (£835).

Between 2011 and 2015, an average of 353 startups were born in Cambridge per year. Digital business turnover grew 30% over the same period and the number of digital tech businesses increased 20%.

British tech success story ARM Holdings, which was acquired by Softbank for £24bn, hails from the city, and the likes of Samsung and Qualcomm also have offices there.

Of those working in the local tech scene who were surveyed for the report, 92% said they have a good quality of life, and 95% said their optimism in local digital growth was ‘good’.

Only 10% described the transport infrastructure as ‘good’, but a whopping 72% used the word to describe the talent supply. That’s more than likely due to the presence of a rather famous university.

“Being based in Cambridge gives us access to well-motivated and highly-talented individuals,” said Ramsey Faragher, CEO and founder of Focal Point Positioning.

Average house price: £522,820

Tech in Ipswich

Ipswich is home to 9,981 digital tech economy jobs, with an average advertised salary of £41,025 for tech professionals. The average non-digital salary is £30,456.

BT’s Global Research and Development Campus is based there, employing more than 3,000 people, and the town is also home to offices of Cisco and Huawei.

Ipswich had a GVA of £163m from 2013-2015, with an average of 91 startups setting up there from 2011-2015. In the same timeframe, digital business turnover increased 27%.

Of the Ipswich tech community surveyed, 87% said they have a good quality of life, while 61% said they were optimistic about digital growth in the area. Just 22% said they felt talent supply is ‘good’, and only 12% were happy with the local transport infrastructure.

Paul Bensley, managing director of X-on, said: “X-on’s location in Suffolk means we can access the City of London in one hour, while providing staff with space to think and breathe without the cost of city dwelling.”

Average house price: £201,734

Tech in Norwich

Norwich is the birthplace of such tech companies as Rainbird (the AI platform with a rumoured $4m+ in funding), Validus-IVC and Epos Now.

The area employs 7,589 in its tech industry, with an average advertised salary for this sector of £40,101. The average non-digital salary is (£30,904).

The GVA of Norwich from 2013-2015 averaged at £165m, with an average of 111 startups born in the city per year from 2011-2015. In the same period, digital business turnover increased 27%.

Some 97% of those in the Norwich tech ecosystem who were surveyed said they have a good quality of life and 81% feel optimistic about digital growth. Just 35% said talent supply is good, though, and only 22% described transport in the area as ‘good’.

Average house price: £223,337

Tech City News is accompanying Tech City UK on its Tech Nation tour (before you ask, we’re not connected, we just have similar names!) Stay tuned for more coverage and regional analysis.