Manchester holds on to top spot in regional UK tech location rankings

Manchester ranked the UK’s top UK tech location outside of London for the second consecutive year, according to a new league table by CBRE, in a year which shows a broader number of cities are competing for the top spots in the ranking.

Scotland features highly with Glasgow jumping three spots to second-place, followed by neighbour Edinburgh which stayed in third place. Birmingham has risen three places, from seventh to fourth position, while Cardiff has rocketed into the top 10, up to seventh, compared with 20th last year.

Reading, Oxford, Cambridge, Brighton, Bracknell and Bristol have been overtaken in the new ranking, largely due to house price differentials with the rest of the UK.

All markets analysed were scored and ranked according to a wide range of locational pull factors for tech businesses, such as level of education, concentrations of tech businesses and employment, cost of living, cost of office space and wage levels.

It is not only the largest office markets that make it into the CBRE top 25. Smaller locations such as Reading, Oxford, Cambridge, Southampton, Brighton and Bracknell also feature, based on their concentrations of tech employment, tech businesses and high education levels.

Ashley Hancox, Executive Director, Head of Office Advisory & Transaction Services, UK explains:

“Creative industries are more important to the UK than ever. From tech to media and telecoms, the sector has flourished since the end of the financial crisis, and grown at a rate that cannot be ignored.

“Led by London, UK towns and cities are a prominent force in the European technology ecosystem, from an employment, leasing and talent perspective. The CBRE top 25 UK destinations (beyond London) identified in our ‘Tech Cities’ report all possess a fusion of the key ingredients required by this sector. As UK cities look to the future, they will need to continue to evolve to offer the right mix of incentives to attract the talent required to lead creative and tech industries in the future.”

Emma Jackson, Associate Director, UK Research explains:

“Evidence shows that, beyond London, a number of regional centres also contain a critical mass of talent necessary to compete successfully in this sector. There are many other tempting reasons to draw creative industries businesses to the UK regions such as attractive quality of life and favourable cost of living.  Indeed, given the growing cost of higher education, and the cost of living in the capital, the large regional centres are increasingly proving a compelling proposition for graduates and employers alike.”

james.wallace@realassetmedia.com