Sheffield is a growing hub for digital and technical businesses

Sheffield is a growing hub for digital and technical businesses

12 February 2016

Photo caption: Sheffield’s Electric Works 

Tech CITY UK has released a report described as ‘the most comprehensive analysis of the UKs Digital Tech economy to date’.

 In it, Sheffield and Rotherham are identified as one of 27 digital tech clusters in the UK, and used as a case study evidencing growth in the UKs digital tech economy.

 There are 14,313 digital tech jobs in Rotherham and Sheffield pumping £273 million Gross Value Added (GVA) into the local economy.

 Last year, the average salary a tech professional could expect in Sheffield was £42,058 – much higher than the average working salary in Sheffield of £26,141.

 Edward Highfield, Director of Creative Sheffield, the economic development arm of Sheffield City Council, said: “Sheffield has a strong tech and digital sector and this plays an important part in attracting and retaining talent within the city. We have some innovative support and accelerator growth programmes in Sheffield, which have contributed to the success of the sector in recent years; a trend that is set to continue with projects such as the Digital Campus underway.”

 Sheffield has strong support networks and programmes in place that have contributed to the accelerated growth of the tech sector in the region. The University of Sheffield’s Social Innovation Accelerator scheme (among those highlighted in the Tech City report), delivers packages of support to students and graduates wanting to turn ideas of social change into a reality. Whilst their Bioincubator scheme provides office and lab space for spin outs, start-ups and entrepreneurs wanting to co-locate on campus to access and collaborate with world class research at the University of Sheffield.

 Creative Sheffield, the economic development arm of Sheffield City Council’s own tech Growth Adviser, James Wilson explains why the digital and tech industry is a high growth sector and what this means for the people that live, work and do business here: “There is a lot of optimism amongst Sheffield’s tech community as local businesses are expanding and taking advantage of new opportunities.  Many businesses are finding that the city provides an ideal environment with the combination of local networks, suitable premises and a quality of life that helps in attracting and retaining talent.“

 The Tech City report also highlights the benefits of tech clusters within Sheffield and Rotherham, through responses from local digital and tech businesses that use them. Sixty-two per cent of people citing the commercial property that is available through tech clusters as a benefit to this working arrangement, 53 per cent noting business support and 67 per cent declaring graduate talent as a major benefit of working in a tech cluster.

 Sheffield’s Electric Works is home to over 30 creative, digital, technology and media companies. Designed to offer flexible working spaces for tech and digital businesses, giving them room for growth and shared innovation spaces to enhance collaboration opportunities. Last year Sky Betting and Gaming, a leading tech business that works in the Italian gaming marketing, opened its Sheffield base in Electric Works, creating over 100 jobs in the city.

 Adjacent to Electric Works, construction is underway for the next Phase of Sheffield Digital Campus.  The £20m new development will provide additional capacity for IT related and knowledge based industries and further enhance Sheffield’s reputation as a hub for technology businesses.

For the full Tech UK City report (Tech Nation 2016) please visit http://www.techcityuk.com/tech-nation-sheffield/