With London as one of the leading tech city hubs in the World, plenty has been written about other UK cities, such as Manchester or Leeds, emerging as UK tech hubs. There are plenty of examples of solid innovation city hubs all around the UK. Manchester, Liverpool, Leeds and Edinburg have now consolidated as UK tech city hubs with strong investments in tech and digital and a vibrant digital community. So, where else around the UK are there growth opportunities? What other UK tech hubs are on the rise right now?
This article focuses on seven emerging tech hubs in the UK worth having on the radar in 2024. These UK cities are currently on the rise as emerging tech and digital hubs, each showing significant potential for growth and technological innovation in diverse areas.
Seven Emerging UK Tech Hubs to Watch in 2024
With a strong manufacturing heritage, Sheffield is transitioning into digital, focusing on advanced manufacturing, creative and digital industries, artificial intelligence and health tech. The University of Sheffield, Sheffield College and Sheffield Hallam University, the city’s universities, have assisted tech start-ups and spinouts, particularly in advanced engineering and digital healthcare.
Known for its strengths in life sciences, digital media, emerging technologies, e-commerce and clean tech, Nottingham is emerging as an innovative UK tech hub. Nottingham’s start-ups have taken advantage of initiatives such as the Nottingham Technology Park and the Creative Quarter, which have supported the city’s tech startups and creative businesses in the last years.
Global tech firms such as GoDaddy, Rolls Royce or Capital One cohabitate with smaller fintech, digital security companies, and creative and digital marketing agencies, driving digital transformation in the region. Furthermore, in recent years, Nottingham’s vibrant tech scene has attracted digital and tech professionals seeking more affordable housing, cost of living, and a better work-life balance.
With a focus on space technology, thanks to the presence of the National Space Centre and Space Park Leicester, the city of Leicester is establishing itself as a leader in space tech in the UK. With lower than the national average housing prices and excellent links to London, Birmingham and other nearby cities, Leicester is attracting world-leading companies. We will definitely hear more about Leicester as a digital and tech hub in the next few years!
With a focus on fintech, cyber security, and creative industries, Cardiff is rapidly becoming a significant tech hub. The city’s tech ecosystem benefits from the presence of Cardiff University’s innovation system and the Compound Semiconductor Applications Catapult, pushing tech innovation forward in Wales.
Recognised for its cybersecurity, fintech, and software engineering strengths, Belfast is on the rise as a tech hub. Initiatives like the Belfast Region City Deal are investing in innovation and digital technologies, enhancing the city’s tech infrastructure and supporting the growth of tech businesses in Northern Ireland’s capital.
Known for its video game industry, Dundee has a longstanding reputation for creative and digital entertainment in the UK tech sector. As part of a £75m scheme, the city has received funding to install a new visual effects facility in Water’s Edge. The city is also broadening its tech focus to include biotechnology and digital health, and it’s welcoming a larger number of start-ups to the city.
Often dubbed “Silicon Beach,” Brighton is known for its creative industries and is emerging as a tech hub, particularly in digital media, gaming, and digital health. The social platform Brandwatch, the games development platform Unity, and mapping optimisation developer Naurt are some of the high-growth companies of Brighton’s growing tech cluster.
Home to multiple initiatives, such as Brighton SEO and the Brighton Digital Festival, the city’s collaborative digital community offers an excellent example of innovation in the Southeast of the UK.
Rising Challenges of the Emerging UK Tech Hubs
As the UK’s tech landscape grows and evolves, new opportunities open for investors looking for opportunities in digital and tech, London-based candidates wanting to relocate internally in the UK, and SMEs and startups starting up new locations to grow their businesses away from larger cities and access new talent pools.
At the same time, though, with these seven UK cities rising from regional to UK-wide tech hubs, the talent competition will become more fierce. A tailored recruitment strategy can help even the smallest tech companies succeed at attracting top tech talent in competition with global tech names.
If your company is in any of the emerging hotspots listed above or any other fast-growing tech hub around the UK, contact our experienced team of tech recruiters. We can work together to efficiently address your company’s recruitment needs and get ahead of your competition.