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Top tech hubs in the Midlands

The Midlands, Birmingham

The latest Tech Nation report from Tech City UK covers 30 tech clusters across the UK, with four of these located in the Midlands: Birmingham, Leicester, Nottingham and Worcester and Malvern.

Together, these clusters employ over 87,400 people in digital tech jobs. Also, the amount the region’s tech sector generates after its cost of operation is deducted (its Gross Value Added, or GVA) averaged £2.91bn from 2013-2015,

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

Tech in Birmingham

Some 36,802 people are employed in digital tech economy jobs in Birmingham, with an average advertised salary for this sector of £43,718. This is significantly higher than the advertised average for non-digital tech jobs (£34,355).

The GVA of the city’s tech sector averaged £1.4bn from 2013-2015, with an average of 557 startups being born in the city from 2011-2015.

There are a few investors in the area, including Turn Partners, Oxygen Investors and Ascension Ventures. There’s also Finance Birmingham, which provides loan and equity funding of between £250,000 and £2m.

Of those in the local tech community surveyed for the report, only 25% said they think the talent supply is ‘good’, while 80% used this word to describe their quality of life. ‘Good’ was also used by 52% to describe the transport infrastructure and 67% to describe their digital growth optimism.

Average house price: £183,665

Tech in Leicester

In Leicester, there are 23,173 people employed within the digital tech economy, commanding an average salary of £40,131. The average advertised for non-digital jobs is £30,780.

The city’s GVA averaged £437m between 2013 and 2015, while 244 startups set up in the area, on average, per year from 2011-2015.

Of the tech professionals in the area who were surveyed, a rather dismal 6% said they rate the talent supply, with a more cheery 88% stating they have a good quality of life. Only 44% said they were optimistic about digital growth, with 56% labelling the transport infrastructure ‘good’.

Sophie Hainsworth and Jason Nesbitt, co-founders of mobile app loyalty scheme LoyalFree, said: “Building the business in our home town of Leicester has given us access to many great startup initiatives at the universities and through other institutions in the city.”

The University of Leicester has an award-winning data centre, while De Montford University has an Innovation Centre, which is home to a range of tech startups. The two universities and Leicester City Council are currently teaming up to create a co-working space for startups in the centre of the city.

Average house price: £169,079

Tech in Nottingham

There are 19,741 people employed in digital tech economy jobs in Nottingham, with an average advertised salary of £44,032. The average advertised non-digital salary is £33,062.

Nottingham’s digital GVA averaged at £835m from 2013-2015, with an average of 241 startups springing to life in the area per year from 2011-2015.

Quality of life was rated as ‘good’ by 89% of tech professionals in the city, with 36% describing talent supply as ‘good’. Digital growth optimism was described as such by 81% and transport infrastructure was labelled ‘good’ by 64%.

Notable investors in the area are Blenheim Chalcot and Foresight. The former has portfolio sales of over £300m while Foresight manages a £40m fund to invest in local high-growth businesses.

Average house price: £136,246

Tech in Worcester and Malvern

The report’s smallest tech cluster, out of those in the Midlands, is Worcester and Malvern, with 7,687 people employed in tech in the area. Some 72 startups were created per year, on average, from 2011-2015.

However, the hub’s GVA averaged £239m in 2013-2015, which certainly isn’t to be sniffed at.

The average advertised salary for digital tech sector employees in Worcester and Malvern is £36,236, which is £6,303 higher than the average advertised non-digital salary in the area.

Of those surveyed, just 12% said talent supply in the area was ‘good’, while a very positive 95% said they have a good quality of life. That’s despite the area’s poor transport infrastructure – just 11% described this as ‘good’. Some 56% said they had a good level of optimism about the growth of digital in the area.

Average house price: £209,072

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.