Leeds City Region has fastest scale up growth in the North

Leeds City Region is hosting an event ‘Why scale up in the North?’ at London Tech Week with Channel 4, AND Digital, Wired Score and Accenture Digital, with the message that Leeds has attracted 82% more venture capital than Manchester and has 12% more scale ups.


12 June 2019

Today, the message that Leeds City Region is a proven location to scale up will be taken to the heart of the capital’s digital scene at London Tech Week.  

The Leeds City Region Enterprise Partnership (LEP) is curating the ‘Why scale up in the North?’ event which will be held at a venue next to the famous ‘silicone roundabout’.

The audience will hear from recent investors in the region including Channel 4, AND Digital and Wired Score – a company that rates digital infrastructure. The event is sponsored by Accenture Digital.

Independent reports have confirmed that the pace of growth is the highest in the North. Beauhurst’s 2018 Scale Up Index showed that Leeds City Region has 209 scale ups.

A new national database, Data Commons for UK Tech, launched by Tech Nation and proprietary global database Dealroom found that venture capital investment into Leeds tech companies amounted to £108.8million.

Roger Marsh OBE, Chair of the LEP and the NP11 said:

“We understand that scaling up requires the right talent, support and ecosystem to be successful. Beauhurst’s Scale Up Index shows that Leeds City Region is outperforming Greater Manchester by 12 per cent and Leeds is attracting 82 per cent more venture capital.

"Whilst our offer is yielding remarkable results, we want it to be even more attractive. That’s why we have launched #Welcome, a bespoke soft landing package to de-risk the scale up process for fast-growing tech and creative companies to locate here.” 

Sarah Rose, Chief Consumer and Strategy Officer at Channel 4 said:

“We’re seeing the digital and creative ecosystem in the Leeds City Region go from strength to strength. I’ll be talking about why we chose Leeds and how we are already working closely with the sector to ensure sustainable growth and opportunities for all.”

Daniel Farrell Managing Director at Accenture Digital, sponsors of the Leeds City Region London Tech Week event said:

“It’s fantastic to see the momentum toward the North of late, and in particular to see the growth in digital creative and tech in West Yorkshire. In this context, Accenture Digital is pleased to support Leeds City Region at London Tech Week.

"It will be great to hear more about Channel 4’s plans and to start to anticipate the impact that their move will have on the Leeds digital ecosystem.”

There are many reasons that contribute to the momentum of business growth. The region has an annual talent pipeline of 39,000 graduates of which 18,000 are in STEAM subjects.

York has flagship gigabit city status. There are a variety of award-winning co-working spaces located across the region fostering new networks and communities for collaboration.

Recent tech investors in Leeds City Region that have recognised the opportunity include Canadian AI firm Scaled Insights, Perform Group (DAZN), Sandstone Technology, Estonian-based Fitek, Hudl and Mastek. Sky has continued to invest in its Digital Technology Services Campus.

The rate of investment from digital firms was recognised this month in EY’s annual foreign direct investment attractiveness survey. Leeds is ranked third best performing city in the UK outside of London for attracting FDI, with 21 projects selecting the city.

The results demonstrate that overseas investors continue to see Leeds and the wider region as a competitive location for investment.