7 Reasons why Leeds is Becoming the Digital Capital of the UK
We may have offices dotted all over the world, but Leeds will always have a special place in our hearts. It may not be the warmest of our locations, but Costa Del Yorkshire has a very exciting future on the horizon. Employing 102,000 people and worth a massive £64.6 billion to the economy, the Leeds digital scene is one of the fastest growing sectors and is already a force to be reckoned with.
Stuart Clarke, who headed up Leeds Digital Festival this year, said that “London’s dominance of the digital sector is at risk from the increasingly high expense of living and running a business in the city, and that Leeds with its rapidly developing digital technology industry, was ideally placed to capitalise on this.”
So we wanted to look at why Leeds has so much potential and why so many people believe it to
One of the main factors that
Obviously, Leeds is home to the headquarters of the best agency in the world, ICS-digital. But five out of the top ten digital agencies in the whole of the North of England are based in Leeds. If 50% of the best agencies also believe how great of a city Leeds is to work in, Leeds must be doing something right. Not to mention the entrepreneurial spirit of Leeds and how the city is becoming the home for the most prolific start-ups.
Cheaper cost of living
The only two other (real) contenders for the digital capital of the UK are London and Manchester. Everyone knows how expensive and commercially competitive London can be, so it’s no surprise that the biggest names in the UK are moving to Yorkshire to avoid high prices higher costs of living. Manchester was sitting pretty as the more sensible location choice after London for huge companies, allowing them to avoid high office rates and an over-saturated, over-fished talent pool. However, property developmentcompanies and the Manchester Council have squashed the cities potential bytrying to become the next London, with expensive office rates and a cut-throat businessattitude that doesn’t have the warmth or collaboration that marketers andagencies are looking for.
Community spirit and collaboration
If you’ve ever worked in London or Manchester, you’ll know how competitive the digital scene can be. But things are a bit different here in Leeds. Everyone wants to work together and help everyone succeed for the common good, not for individual egos or targets. There are thousands of events every year, which are a great way to meet peers, and they’re getting better and better, not to mention the annual Leeds Digital Festival and the holy grail that is Search Leeds. For example, when Leeds Digital Festival started back in 2016, it had just 56 events. But in 2018, we saw a stacked line up of industry celebrities and expert-panels, as well as more than 170 events, conferences, and socials across the event schedule. Now, Leeds Digital Festival is already the biggest digital festival of the North, even putting international cities like San Francisco to shame with the volume and calibre of digital events happening. Take a look at the new Leeds Digital Hub, a co-working space run by Leeds Beckett University in cooperation with The Yorkshire Post, which already has over 200 businesses across various tech industries calling it home.
Great bars and restaurants
So if you’ve ever visited Leeds before, you’ll know that there are some amazing bars, incredible restaurants, and plenty of thriving independents across the city. From staple favourites like Fazenda and The
New home for the big dogs
We’ve seen some of the biggest names in the country (and world) relocate to Leeds in recent years. Household brands such as Sky Bet, NHS Digital, and Channel 4 have all moved to Leeds in recent years, creating thousands of jobs and adding to the already booming economy. HMRC are also due to move around 6,000 jobs to Leeds by 2020 to deliver a more digitally focused and advanced tax service. This is following NHS’s successful move last year, and they will even share the same office building. Long story short, large companies are giving their workers the chance to relocate to a city that is vibrant and exciting, but still very affordable and enjoyable to live in. This has all been part of the Northern Powerhouse shift, which is an effort to decentralise industries away from London and balance the UK economy. It’s not only the huge organisations that are seeing the potential, but the government can also clearly see that Leeds is worth investing in.
According to recent data,
Thinking of moving to Leeds and looking to secure a job at one of the best agencies around? Head to our careers page, because we might have just the thing for you.
Featured image: Jungpionier. [CC BY-SA 3.0]