Tech drives employment growth in Leeds

The newly-refurbished 34 Boar Lane in Leeds, which developer Kinrise says will attract tech companies starting up or relocating in Leeds city centre.
The newly-refurbished 34 Boar Lane in Leeds, which developer Kinrise says will attract tech companies starting up or relocating in Leeds city centre.
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Employment in the technology sector is set to rise across the UK regional cities by 16 per cent over the next 10 years, according to a new study.

Knight Frank’s Future of our Cities report also reveals that the technology, media and telecom (TMT) sector has dominated take-up in the first three quarters of 2019 - 23 per cent of the market.

Hotspots in 2019 for TMT in the UK’s regional cities include Leeds, Cardiff and Edinburgh, accounting for 50 per cent, 40 per cent and 34 per cent of take-up in the year-to-date, respectively.

This is significantly higher than in London, where TMT accounted for 21 per cent of take-up, highlighting the growth of the sector outside of the capital. Notable deals include Sky Betting & Gaming’s 135,915 sq ft lease at 4 Wellington Place in Leeds.

London-based developer Kinrise is currently creating co-working and studio space and facilities at 34 Boar Lane in Leeds for creative, digital and technology businesses.

Darren Mansfield, partner in Knight Frank’s commercial research team, said: “The influence of the technology sector on the economic fortunes of the UK continues to grow. Since 2002, the economic output from tech industries has grown significantly, with further upward trajectory forecast for the next 10 years.

“This picture of growth is mirrored in the scale of demand for office space being acquired across the UK. The sector representation in the UK’s regional cities has grown considerably from 15% to 23% in the past four years.”

Alastair Graham-Campbell, Partner in the Capital Markets team, added: “Growth on this scale across the UK will generate new requirements and sustain current occupational footprints throughout the next decade.

“Significantly, the definition of the technology sector now extends beyond information, computation and internet-based media. It includes fledgling growth companies pursuing technological innovation, and is widened by the derivatives of the traditional sectors, such as professional services and banking. No longer regarded as just a back-office function, IT forms an essential part of the principle service being provided.”

Knight Frank’s inaugural ‘Future of our cities’ report looks at the key themes impacting 10 of the UK’s regional office markets; Leeds, Sheffield, Aberdeen, Birmingham, Bristol, Cardiff, Edinburgh, Glasgow, Manchester, and Newcastle.

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