The Tech Nation 2016 report has just been published recently and I thought I would take a quick look to see how it rated Birmingham and the importance of Digital to the City. This report by TechCityUK and NESTA is much better than last years one as its geography is based on travel to work areas – so comparisons to Manchester and other Tech hubs are much more valid. So what does it say. Looking at the graphic below it is clear the importance of the Digital Tech economy to Greater Birmingham. It estimates that over 36,000 people are employed in Digital Tech jobs with £1.13bn GVA atrributed to to this sector.
Importantly it noted the real growth in the sector in recent years up to 2014.
Employment has grown by 15% since 2011 and turnover and GVA by 17% and 31% since 2010.
It estimates that almost one in five businesses in the city region are now Digital.
These figures are really quite significant for the city region and the prospects look good. It quotes David Hardman from Innovation Birmingham who stresses the availability of skilled workers and the cheapness of the location compared to other locations. The article also highlights the prospective opening of Innovation Birmingham’s digital hub ICentrum in March 2016 – which will give a further fillip to this facility which is already a thriving digital hub.
How does the city compare nationally. This graphic shows its importance in terms of turnover. Whereas in last year’s report Birmingham was placed fairly well down the list because of incorrect geographies in this years Birmingham rates as the fifth largest cluster coming just beneath Manchester. It has a digital turnover of £1.8bn compared to Manchester’s £2.2bn
In terms of employment it also rates highly. It found that Greater Birmingham had the fourth largest employment cluster in the UK – narrowly beating Bristol and Bath. With just over 36,000 jobs it has a lot few than London with circa 330k jobs but is not put to shame by Manchester who have 52k jobs.
The overall report showed the real growth of this sector nationally and the importance both to the UK and the city in supporting and developing it. The report can be downloaded from here