The 2018 Tech Nation report shows excellent progress for Exeter. The city has once again been highlighted as a thriving cluster within the UK’s digital landscape.
Digital jobs in the city are up 47% from 2014-2017 and annual turnover of our digital and tech businesses has increased from £157 million to over £270 million. The city’s digital GVA has also increased exponentially, from £150 million to £351 million in this year’s report.
As expected, quality of life was cited as the number one strength of the city by Exeter start-ups, closely followed by a helpful tech community – bolstered by successful meetups Digital Exeter and Tech Exeter – with the city’s creativity at number three.
Overall, across all of the UK survey areas, the top strengths identified were an appealing area, a helpful community and proximity to a university – all of which Exeter has to offer, cementing the city’s position as a prime location for digital tech businesses.
Dr Sally Basker, Chief Executive Officer of Exeter Science Park said: “The new Tech Nation report highlights Exeter’s expertise in tech innovation and its thriving digital economy. The city boasts over 10,000 digital jobs which, for a working population of around 87,000, is extremely impressive. Our increasing digital output proves that companies in Exeter are making a significant contribution to the overall economy.”
The key challenges for tech start-ups in Exeter were also highlighted in the report, with access to talent, limited infrastructure and lack of tech training topping the list.
Founder of Tech Exeter, Rob Glover, explained: “There is a pioneering spirit here to build a different kind of tech cluster. The challenge I see is whether the grass-roots community will lead this or will be subjected to rather mediocre ideas about being just-like other places that come from regional institutions that understand little about technology. Exeter needs to find it’s unique place in the Tech Nation.”
The aim of the Tech Nation report is to map the evolution of the UK tech sector, capturing the strength, depth and breadth of digital tech activity in the UK.
The 2018 report has highlighted how the sector is growing across the country; between 2014 and 2017, employment in the digital tech sector increased by 31.2%.
EY’s recent Regional Economic Forecast found that digital tech growth was fastest in the South of the country. Furthermore, workers in digital tech are more productive than those in non-digital sectors by an average of £10,000 per person per annum.