The UK's digital heartland

Your business at the heart of the action. Leeds City Region has seen the highest number of scale ups in the North. Talk to us about scaling up your business in the UK's digital heartland.

We could tell you how the cost of starting a business in Leeds City Region is 80% lower than London, how the superior quality of life means staff are happy and stay in their roles, how the region’s digital economy is now worth £6.5bn, and how the ecosystem has grown to include more co-working spaces, accelerators, events, meetups, community platforms and startup support schemes than ever before.

We could also tell you how recent research by Bark found Leeds to be the best city in the UK to start a business, and how the Barclays SME Growth Factors Index found it was actually Bradford. 

But we thought you’d probably rather hear it from some entrepreneurs that decided to base their business here and have done pretty well as a result. 

So here are some of the region’s most successful founders and business leaders on why it’s the best place to start and grow a digital business.

Anna Sutton, CEO The Data Shed

“We set up The Data Shed in Leeds 6 years ago now - we've thrived because of the amazing businesses and talent in the region that have supported the growth of the consultancy. The digital festival pulls us all together every year and facilitates a spirit of collaboration across the city that lasts far beyond the fortnight. The larger technical organisations are a real magnet for talent and we really benefit from a trained and capable talent pool. The more we work together to promote the region as a digital hub, the more we'll benefit from the people, the entrepreneurs and the funding.”

Zandra Moore, CEO and Co-Founder, Panintelligence

“Our ecosystem is really well connected. Leeds Digital Festival really galvanized the community to create platforms, meetups and events that mean we are all working better together. The more you know about the Leeds digital scene the easier it is to support and collaborate and continue to make it a place that thrives. We have awards, events and communities that get together. The ODI Leeds, Leeds Digital Festival, and co-working spaces like Platform and Avenue HQ, PWC’s tech scaleup programme, Tech Nation’s AI programme - all of which are bringing us together as opposed to working in silos. It’s creating a really vibrant community that engages with each other.”

Dr Victoria Betton, Managing Director, mhabitat

“Leeds really is the epicentre of digital health and so it’s the perfect place for mHabitat to be based. Being in the same building as the Platform tech hub community connects us to the wider digital sector and that’s why we’ve established Co<Space North there too. Co>Space is our digital health and tech for good collaboration space where we are building a like-minded community and we are honoured to curate the health and care strand of the annual Leeds Digital Festival. There couldn’t be a better place to make a positive impact in digital health.”

Tim Mercer, CEO, Vapour Cloud

“We are proud of our roots and genuinely believe the integrity, vibrancy and passion of our Northern team are three of the key reasons why clients, partners and technology giants want to work with us. The North has a fantastic brand at present – particularly in the Leeds City Region – and we really want to help build on that. That’s why we’ve been announced as an official partner of the Northern Powerhouse. From a practical perspective we are well connected not just to neighbouring digital hubs such as Manchester but also the rest of the UK, which means our location suits us as a fast-growth business with a national presence. There is a fantastic pool of talent – you just have to know how to attract them. I think our proximity to great city-living and the Yorkshire countryside makes for a great recruitment proposition.”

We can connect you to people, places and funding.

This new fund has been developed to support businesses within the creative, digital and technology sectors looking to locate to the UK's digital heart land.

Your finger on the digital pulse

  1. A Day in the Life of Zandra Moore

    Zandra Moore is CEO and co-founder at Panintelligence, a Leeds-based business offering an analytics and business intelligence software platform that competes with the likes of Microsoft, Tableau and Looker.

    Read more about A Day in the Life of Zandra Moore