Boost for region's digital sector as agency heads to Leeds

A LONDON-based digital agency has opened a base in Yorkshire to boost its chances of securing more work in the North of England.
Stuart Clarke of Leeds Digital Festival Picture by Simon HulmeStuart Clarke of Leeds Digital Festival Picture by Simon Hulme
Stuart Clarke of Leeds Digital Festival Picture by Simon Hulme

Cyber-Duck, which includes the Bank of England among its clients, has opened an office in Leeds, which it plans to turn into a major regional hub. The company said it had decided to open an office in Leeds after being impressed with the digital firms that have already established a base in the city and the quality of graduates from local universities.

“To provide a better service for our Northern clients, and to offer services to more companies, it was only natural for Cyber-Duck to open a new office in Leeds,’’ a spokesman said. “However, this wasn’t the only reason Leeds was of particular interest to Cyber-Duck.

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“It is widely regarded as the UK’s next big digital scene, and it is clear why. The city’s £64.6bn economy has attracted a lot of investment, which has seen several start-ups acquire funding.

“In 2017, PwC recognised Leeds as joint first in its Good Growth for Cities report, acknowledging that the city had a growth potential of 92 per cent.

“HMRC also recognises Leeds’ potential – the organisation will relocate to Leeds in 2020, bringing with it 6,000 civil servants. NHS Digital is based in Leeds, and half of the North’s top ten digital agencies are based in the city. Cyber-Duck wants to contribute to this thriving digital scene.”

The company will bring its long-running digital community, known as the Digital Pond to Leeds. The Digital Pond is one of London’s largest digital communities with more than 3,000 members.

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Cyber-Duck, which has opened an office at the Platform development in Leeds, is keen to work with leading figures in the FinTech scene in Leeds. The agency, which has a 45-strong team in London, has already forged relationships with FinTechNorth and other financial tech initiatives.

Siji Onabanjo, the growth director at Cyber-Duck, said: “Having built up a great reputation as a leading digital transformation agency in London, we made the carefully considered decision to open up our third office in Yorkshire to further support our growing number of Northern clients.

“Leeds was the obvious choice. We felt Leeds has a lot to offer Cyber-Duck, and Cyber-Duck has a lot to offer Leeds. We have transformed the digital presences of high-calibre clients like the Bank of England and Thomas Cook, and now we are keen to use our expertise to help more businesses excel with their digital ambitions.

“The Platform stood out as being a great place to begin our Leeds journey. We look forward to becoming a real part of the thriving Leeds digital community and using our expertise to further drive digital growth in the region.”

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Mr Onabanjo said Cyber-Duck had been “blown away” by the digital scene in Leeds.

“We are planning for Leeds to become a big hub for us with a strong presence,’ he said.

Initially, the Leeds office employs two staff, but this figure could grow by another 15 to 20 employees over the few years.

Tom Riordan, the chief executive of Leeds City Council said: “We are immensely proud of and excited about the dynamic digital sector being built here in Leeds.”

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Stuart Clarke, the director of Leeds Digital Festival, said: “Cyber-Duck choosing Leeds as its first office outside of London is a real boost for the continued growth of the city as the digital capital of the North.

“We were pleased to welcome them to the Leeds Digital Festival in April, where they hosted a couple of innovative events.

Mr Clarke added: “Cyber-Duck moving here shows that initiatives like the London to Leeds project, which encourages digital firms in the capital to relocate here, are making a real difference.”