Leeds rises in rankings for top tech sector destinations in the regions

Leeds has risen four places as a major UK tech sector destination in a rankings list compiled by global real estate advisor CBRE.

Leeds is a top destination for the tech sector.

The ‘Tech Cities’ top 25 rankings, excluding London, shows Leeds has moved up from tenth to 6th as a major destination for the technology industry.

Manchester maintained top spot, while Glasgow moved from fifth into second place.

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All markets analysed were scored and ranked according to a wide range of locational pull factors for tech businesses, such as level of education, concentrations of tech businesses and employment, cost of living, cost of office space and wage levels.

The reported noted that the city offers great choice and a strong quality of life when it comes to urban lifestyles or rural environments and accommodates a number of creative tech clusters.

Leeds also benefits from good transport links, a young, highly educated talent pool and strong university research ratings, the report said.

Alex Hailey, director at CBRE’s office agency team in Leeds, said: “It’s fantastic to see Leeds recognised as a major regional hub and a UK tech sector destination.

“Take up from the tech sector has grown year on year in Leeds since the end of the financial crisis and we envisage this growth to continue.

“With 38,900 graduates annually and home to two world class business schools, nine universities and 14 further education colleges, Leeds has the emerging workforce to continue to fuel this growth.

“We’re also seeing changes in building design with a greater emphasis on collaborative working, flexibility and wellbeing to provide the perfect working environments for these tech businesses to flourish.”

Here’s the top 10 (from the Top 25) CBRE UK Tech Destinations:

1. Manchester

2. Glasgow

3. Edinburgh

4. Birmingham

5. Reading

6. Leeds

7. Cardiff

8. Oxford

9. Belfast

=9. Nottingham

CBRE’s report said that Leeds offers attractive business rates and office rents, as well as competitive labour costs and relatively low cost of living compared to London and many South East locations.

The city also has a number of digital hubs such as Test Space Hub, Digital Hub, Leeds Innovation Centre, Creative Industries Hub and Sky Technology Hub providing networking and knowledge support for creative businesses to grow and develop.

Emma Jackson, associate director at UK Research said: “Evidence shows that, beyond London, a number of regional centres also contain a critical mass of talent necessary to compete successfully in this sector.

“There are many other tempting reasons to draw creative industries businesses to the UK regions such as attractive quality of life and favourable cost of living.

“Indeed, given the growing cost of higher education, and the cost of living in the capital, the large regional centres are increasingly proving a compelling proposition for graduates and employers alike”.