Leeds tech hiring climbs by two thirds as sector investment soars by 88% so far in 2022
The figure shows an increase of 88 per cent on 2021’s figures (£153m), according to data from Dealroom analysed by the UK’s Digital Economy Council.
The new data, released to coincide with Leeds Digital Festival, shows that investment has increased five times the amount raised in 2020, when tech companies raised £42m.
Stuart Clarke, co-founder and director at Leeds Digital Festival, said: “We’ve been banging the drum for years that Leeds is an incredible place to set up and grow a tech business and it feels like all the hard work is paying off.
“We’ve built an amazing, supportive tech community in the city which is on hand to help new and established entrepreneurs as they scale their businesses and this is reflected in the brilliant number of start-ups, scale-ups and corporates that call the city home. I’m looking forward to celebrating these achievements at Leeds Digital Festival and putting in place plans for how we can grow together in the future.”
Tech hiring accounted for a fifth of all available roles in Leeds in July, with over 2,500 jobs available compared to nearly 1,400 for accounting and finance and just over 1,300 for engineering.
The most in-demand roles include software developers and engineers, as well as more specialist roles such as devops engineers and IT systems architects.
There are now over 49,000 people working in tech start-ups and scale-ups across Leeds, rising to around 82,000 across Yorkshire and the Humber, along with thousands of others working at larger corporate tech firms. Almost 800 start-ups and scale-ups are now based in Leeds, including gaming company XRGames and ethical fintech Tred, which both raised funding this year.
Minister for Tech and Digital Economy, Damian Collins, said: “The sheer ingenuity and ambition behind Leeds’s tech sector is a force to behold.
“The city is a hotbed for start-ups and professionals driving new innovations to help us have healthier and more sustainable lives.
“These figures show people’s talent directly translates into new jobs and investment and I’m determined to ensure this growth and success in the city continues.”
One of the main tech sectors to attract investment in Leeds has been the sustainability sector. The majority of the start-up funds raised during 2022 were invested in semiconductor start-up RAW Charging, a leading supplier of electric vehicle charging infrastructure. RAW Charging is amongst other electric vehicle focused companies in the city, along with Zest Eco, an all-in-one provider of EV charging installation.
The city has also seen growth in the health tech sector, with over 60 health tech start-ups now based there, attracted by NHS Digital, which has been located in Leeds since 2018. These companies are tackling areas such as drug development for auto-immune diseases (4D Pharma PLC), preventative health tech (Hero) and animal health (VET-AI).
Paul Lewis, chief customer officer at job search engine Adzuna, said: “Leeds is one of the fastest-growing tech hubs in the UK thanks to its combination of growing start-ups and established corporations.”