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Top tech hubs in Scotland

Scotland map

The latest Tech Nation report from Tech City UK covers 30 tech clusters across the UK, with three of these located in Scotland: Dundee, Edinburgh and Glasgow.

Together, these clusters employ over 54,600 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 £1.2bn from 2013-2015.

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

Tech in Dundee

Some 3,571 people are employed in digital tech economy jobs in Dundee, with an average advertised salary of £36,323 for this sector. This isn’t too much more than the average advertised non-digital salary (£30,310).

There were an average of 34 startups born per year in Dundee between 2011 and 2015, but digital business turnover increased a whopping 171% over this same period. The city’s digital GVA averaged £97m from 2013-2015.

Dundee is home to quite a few gaming companies and a little known fact is that Grand Theft Auto and Lemmings were developed there by DMA Design. Outplay Entertainment is the city’s current largest developer, employing over 150 members of staff.

Just last month, Dundee-based 3D mapping and visualisation company EeGeo closed a $5m funding round with investment provided by Netsol Technologies and a group of undisclosed investors.

Tech City UK surveyed tech communities across the UK for the Tech Nation report, and found 91% of those living in Dundee said they have a good quality of life. Some 46% said there is a good supply of talent, while 86% said they’re optimistic about digital growth in the area.

Average house price: £146,391

Tech in Edinburgh

Edinburgh’s biggest claim to fame, when it comes to tech success, is that it’s home to Skyscanner, which raised a total of $197.19m before being bought last year by Chinese listed travel company Ctrip.

Skyscanner is one of many technology companies based in the Scottish capital, with digital tech businesses in the city employing 25,109 people. The average advertised digital salary there is £53,019, which is significantly higher than the average non-digital salary of £37,070.

Five funding rounds raised by Edinburgh-based tech firms were logged on the Tech City News Investment Tracker in 2016, with four recorded so far in 2017.

The city’s GVA averaged £513m from 2013-2015, with digital business turnover increasing 85% from 2011-2015.

The average number of tech businesses created in Edinburgh from 2011-2015 was 363 and 92% of those surveyed said they were optimistic about the future of the city’s digital growth.

Some 95% said they had a good quality of life, but only 45% said the supply of talent is good. Initiatives in the city are working to close the skills gap, though, such as CodeClan, which offers a 16-week course in software development.

“The thriving digital tech scene in Edinburgh is hugely supportive and collaborative, with a strong sense of camaraderie,” said Gareth Williams, CEO and co-founder of Skyscanner.

Average house price: £294,277

Tech in Glasgow

In Glasgow, 25,992 people are employed in digital tech roles, with an average salary in the sector of £48,404, which is £15,601 more than the average advertised non-digital salary.

Digital GVA in Glasgow averaged £591m from 2013-2015, with digital business turnover increasing 32% from 2011-2015.

An average of 331 startups were created per year from 2011-2015, with more than 50 companies having spun out of Strathclyde University with annual sales of £80m.

The city is home to two further universities – The University of Glasgow and Glasgow School of Art – but just 32% of those surveyed for the report said talent supply in the city was ‘good’.

Some 88% described their quality of life as ‘good’, while 81% used the same word to describe their digital growth optimism.

Average house price: £166,070

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.