Rotherham has the third fastest growing tech cluster in the UK, according to the latest KPMG/Markit Tech Monitor UK Survey.
The South Yorkshire town’s tech cluster expanded by 21 per cent over the year, which is a sign that the former heartland of the coal industry is attracting a new generation of entrepreneurs.
The North East witnessed the fastest expansion in the number of tech enterprises outside of London in 2015 with 9.5 per cent year on year growth. Yorkshire and the Humber ranked fifth in the UK with an 8.5 per cent increase against last year, while the North West, in eighth position, achieved a 7.2 per cent rise in the number of tech firms.
However, the North still has some work to do catch up with its rivals in parts of the South. The North West region ranked sixth in the UK, with tech companies accounting for 6.4 per cent of the regional economy, while Yorkshire and Humber and the North East were joint ninth with 5.5 per cent, compared with a national average of 7.7 per cent.
In the North West, Warrington remains the top tech hub in the region, as well as the whole of the North, with 9.8 per cent of its business community hailing from tech, well above the national average.
Commenting on the Tech Monitor UK Survey, Graham Pearce, director and head of TMT at KPMG in the North, said: “The North is home to a great community of tech businesses and the growth that we have seen over the past year shows that there is more to the sector than the M4 corridor and ‘silicon-round-about’.
“Rotherham and North Tyneside are just two areas that have shown impressive expansion, and coupled with other clusters in the likes of Warrington and York, the North is building a tech sector to be proud of.
“But, with the industry still punching below its weight on a national level, there is a lot more work to be done in encouraging new Northern start-ups and attracting established enterprises to the region.”
Nationally, the report found that the number of tech-related enterprises in the private sector has risen by 31 per cent since 2010.
This represents a net gain of approximately 45,000 enterprises over a five-year period, or one additional tech sector enterprise every hour of the day for the past five years.