Manchester’s Digital Revolution!

Manchester’s Digital Revolution!

This article has been prepared by Manchester Digital . The trade body for digital and technology businesses within Greater Manchester.

According to a report by CBRE, Manchester remains the number one tech location outside of London. This is pleasing news for a region that is seeking to establish itself as a leading European, or even global tech hub.

In 2018, Greater Manchester’s tech and digital industry contributed £4.98b to the UK economy. Forecasts are suggesting these figures look set to be improved upon by the end of 2019.

Impressive turnover figures are being bolstered by the success that is being witnessed from across the wide portfolio of sectors that make up the city region’s digital economy.

Branches of Greater Manchester’s digital economy, such as cybersecurity and SaaS , are displaying increased levels of confidence, capability and profitability.

One area of digital specialism, fintech , is developing at a staggering rate with the region. Manchester-based companies such as Zuto and Mojo Mortgages have secured millions in capital investment, and in doing so have helped to generate an increased appetite for further investments within the sector.

This includes the emergence of bank-sponsored accelerators and incubators that are churning out new products and businesses. Manchester Digital’s Fintech Forum also brought together key figures in the industry to share learnings and insights that we will be releasing as part of our programme for 2020.

Success on a start-up and scale up level is taking place simultaneously with an increase in the number of large companies relocating to Manchester. Recent arrivals include GCHQ, Slalom and HPE, with rumours of Amazon and Facebook to come. These companies are attracted to Manchester due to the strength of the existing community, the access to graduate talent afforded by Greater Manchester’s three main universities and the relatively low running costs in comparison to London.

Building upon success

Whilst this is all good news, the reality is that, if Manchester is to achieve its full potential, success will rest upon the region’s ability to attract and retain the talent needed to support the sector. This will be no easy feat. The Skills Audit has revealed companies are still struggling to hire in key positions. Therefore, if the sector is to sustain predicted growth, it will require an additional 22,000 roles by 2035.

How can businesses help?

It’s important for businesses within Greater Manchester to ensure there are enough skilled workers coming into the talent pipeline. One way of doing this is to support Digital Futures – Manchester Digital’s GMCA-backed campaign that encourages businesses to pledge as little as twenty minutes of their time to helping young people enter our industry. If your company hasn’t signed up, make it a New Year’s Resolution to do so for 2020 and demonstrate to both potential and existing staff that your company is a responsible employer.

Get involved

There is a lot of work to be done, but it seems that 2020 is shaping up to be a successful year for Greater Manchester’s tech and digital sector. If you would like to be a part of the forward-thinking businesses that are working together to develop and grow the ecosystem, as well as their own businesses, find out more about Manchester Digital membership, here .

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