Techies are flocking to a historic market town – following a huge growth in the technology sector there. Newbury, in Berkshire, is home to Vodafone’s headquarters and has a higher ‘digital density’ than anywhere else in the UK, as companies seek to expand beyond London. It topped the list ahead of Reading, Basingstoke and Burnley as smaller towns build up skilled workforces to nurture new startups and tech companies.
A new tech report described the ‘productivity power path’ travelling along the M4 corridor and spreading to Southampton and Portsmouth.
Gerard Grech, chief executive and co-founder of Tech Nation, which compiled the 2018 report said: “This is the first major milestone of Tech Nation, the organisation now working across the country to build networks that support ambitious entrepreneurs and shine a light on the achievements of our tech sector.
“London is the world’s second most connected hub after Silicon Valley. We need to make the most of that, as our new relationship with the EU will undoubtedly force us to be even more adaptive, innovative and ambitious.”
As well as the tech towns, eight cities also showed above-average employment in the technology field, with Portsmouth topping the list.
It was followed by Bristol, Cambridge, Southampton and Oxford rounding out the top five.
The Tech Nation report shows the UK’s digital tech sector is accelerating faster than the rest of the economy.
In fact, the sector’s growth from a £170bn industry in 2016 to £184bn in the most recent report shows that it’s expanding two-and-a-half times faster than the rest of the UK’s economy.
It also revealed the digital tech sector’s workforce is both older, and more ethnically diverse, than the average UK workplace.
It showed 72 per cent of UK digital tech workers are over 35, challenging the stereotype that jobs in the sector are usually taken by millennials.
And 15 per cent are of black, Asian and minority ethnic backgrounds – 50 per cent higher than across all UK jobs.
But fewer than one in five people working in tech are female, compared to 49 per cent across other sectors.
Eileen Burbidge, Partner, Passion Capital & Chair of Tech Nation added: “From fintech to healthtech, self-driving cars and artificial intelligence, the UK’s digital tech sector is having an impact on every aspect of our daily lives and economy.
“Tech Nation’s survey of the industry shows that confidence and optimism is high, but it is important for us to keep supporting this sector and give British companies the best chance they can to grow and scale.”
A fuller, data-rich version of Tech Nation 2018 can be found online from Thursday 17th May at www.technation.io
THE TOP 16 TECH TOWNS
Slough and Heathrow
Stevenage and Welwyn Garden City
Guildford and Aldershot
High Wycombe and Aylesbury,