Skip to content

May 2023

The West Midlands'
key tech hubs

Key Sectors
Coventry
Key Sectors
Key Sectors

Surrounding ecosystem

Birmingham and Coventry often dominate the limelight due to their size and the networks and infrastructure they provide for tech businesses, with other hubs such as Wolverhampton and Leamington Spa established for their own specialisms. However, there are other towns, cities and surrounding areas with their own ecosystems that play a crucial role in the overall growth and success of West Midlands tech.

Warwick
Solihull
Hereford
Shropshire
Staffordshire
Staffordshire
Image Grid
Image 1

Warwick

Image 2

Solihull

Image 3

Hereford

Image 4

Shropshire

Stakeholder view

Tech decision-maker view: data snapshot

To get a snapshot of how the West Midlands tech industry currently views itself, the region’s greatest strengths and challenges, and where it is heading, UKTN commissioned Censuswide to survey 100 decision-makers at West Midlands-based technology companies. Here’s what they said.  

Business loans
Startup Loans
R&D tax credit loans
Debt crowdfunding and peer-to-peer loans
Invoice financing
R&D tax credit loans
Asset financing
Recovery Loan Scheme

Strengths, challenges and opportunities

The West Midlands tech ecosystem is riding high. In 2021, it was named the UK’s fastest-growing tech sector. In 2022, the Commonwealth Games were held in Birmingham, not only creating a buzz in the city but helping to put the region on the global stage. Some home-grown digital brands have gained international recognition, most notably the Solihull-based athletic clothing ecommerce company Gymshark, which opened its first US office in 2019.  
 

But there is always more that can be done, and further opportunities to grasp. While 61% of respondents said that the West Midlands is internationally recognised, its success stories could be more visible, with London-based tech companies enjoying much of the UK tech limelight.

“A major barrier is a lack of awareness and visibility in the highly competitive global market,” says Taran Singh, founder of Birmingham-based immersive experience creative agency Taran3D. “It can be difficult to build a brand and establish a reputation with limited resources”.

The West Midlands has an industrious history and is home to major manufacturing operations, such as the Jaguar Land Rover factory in Coventry. While times have changed, the history and groundwork of engineering remain enshrined in the region’s DNA, leading to strengths in autonomous vehicles and industry 4.0 companies. 

Taran Singh

Taran Singh

Founder of Taran3D​

Aaron Baker

Investor at BGF

“What the Midlands has done well is capitalising on the industries the regional economy was built on,” says Aaron Baker, investor at BGF. “The automotive sector and its entire supply chain has seen exceptional tech innovation in the region – from batteries to electric vehicles – and that’s because of the talent, experience, and rich heritage here. And this has evolved into global leading verticals in the sector, such as Leamington Spa’s dominance in the gaming industry.” 

Taran Singh

Strengths

Q2. What, if anything, do you consider to be the biggest strength(s) of the West Midlands as a region to start and grow a technology business in?

Transport and Infrastructure
Collaboration between businesses and networks across the West Midlands
Diversity and inclusivity within workforce
Access to talent
Digital infrastructure and connectivity
Support networks - accelerators, incubators, business programmes, skills bootcamps
Support from local government
Access to funding
N/A - I do not consider anything to be the biggest strength(s) of this
Other, please specify
Connectivity and infrastructure
Culture of collaboration
Support services & providers

Challenges and opportunities

Q3. What, if anything, do you consider to be the biggest weaknesse(s) of the West Midlands as a region to start and grow a technology business in?

Access to funding
Support from locel government
N/A - I do not consider anything to be the biggest weaknesses) of this
Access to talent
Support networks - accelerators, incubators, business programmes, skills bootcamps
Diversity and inclusivity within workforce
Digital infrestructure and connectivity
Collaboration between businesses and networks across the West Midlands
Tronsport and infrastructure
Other, please specify
Key Sectors
GOVERNMENT-SUPPORT