Is the North overtaking London as the new tech hub for digital contractors?
If this time 10 years ago you would have asked an IT contractor where the best place to find work is, 9 out of 10 would have said London, no questions asked. However if you ask them now, taking in to account the rise of digital and technology driven businesses in the North, many IT contractors would be forced to say the North.
74% of digital and technology driven firms are now outside of the capital. Opportunities are as high as they've ever been in the North, which is a drastically different picture than this time a decade ago, often IT contractors and freelancers would be forced to travel if they wanted a job.
So why is this the case?
In February, the Chancellor convened tech entrepreneurs to launch the ‘Tech Nation’ report, which revealed that over 170,000 people are now working in digital businesses in the North, many in rapidly expanding tech clusters, with a high number of these working as contracting and freelance market.
To accelerate this growth, the government will support the development of innovative businesses across the north through an £11 million investment in tech incubators, these are to be based in Manchester, Leeds and Sheffield. These tech incubators will create thriving local ecosystems by nurturing start-ups, fostering collaboration, and providing mentoring, learning and business support.
The dramatic rise London had in becoming the business hub we know it as today, came with a cost. Every man and his dog wanted to base themselves in London, this led to huge competition for property and soaring commercial costs. This, along with the dying need for competitors to be based closer together, led to businesses venturing outside of the capital. Cities in the North became attractive destinations for digital businesses.
The North is fast becoming a tech hub for digital contractors and freelancers, David Cameron's early vision of London becoming the ‘Tech City’ is slowly dying. Digital opportunities are no longer only available in one city. With further development, innovation and investment, Britain as a whole could be on its way to becoming a ‘Tech Nation’!
Here at Gorilla Accounting we understand life as a contractor or freelancer can often be overwhelming. In a busy digital world we have recognised the need for an efficient, technology driven, simple accountancy package. We appreciate that you need quality, accurate and expert advice all provided in an efficient and easy to use package.
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