Edinburgh named as one of the UK’s leading tech cities in new Levelling Up Power Tech League


EDINBURGH has been named as one of the UK’s leading tech cities in the UK thanks to its combination of high levels of VC funding, available tech job opportunities, advertised tech salaries, number of high-growth tech companies and future high-growth companies, according to new analysis for the UK’s Digital Economy Council by Dealroom and the smarter job search engine Adzuna. 

Edinburgh’s high status on the new Levelling Up Power Tech League was down in part thanks to the high average advertised salaries in the city for tech workers. Skilled tech talent can be offered £58,405 on average for a new role, the highest in the UK outside of London and the South East. There are now over 2,000 tech job vacancies in the city, an increase of 85% since last year. 

As well, tech companies in the city raised a collective £117 million through 47 venture rounds, the second highest number of rounds in the UK, indicating a rising class of early-stage companies that will go on to become future tech giants. These include health tech Current Health (£32.5), foodtech Parsley Box (£17m), and tidal energy company Nova Innovation (£6.4m). 

The Scottish capital has also produced two unicorns – high-growth tech companies worth more than $1 in valuation – Skyscanner and FanDuel. Skyrora, the next-generation space launch vehicles startup, is predicted to reach this same valuation in the next few years. 

Digital Minister Chris Philp said: “It’s brilliant to see Edinburgh ranking in the top five regional cities for UK tech, with innovative Scottish startups helping tackle some of the world’s major challenges.

Capitalising on this brilliant growth across the whole of the UK is part of our mission to level up and we are supporting Scottish companies with pro-innovation policies to help people and get the skills they need.

Levelling Up Power Tech League 2021:

  1. Cambridge
  2. Manchester
  3. Oxford
  4. Edinburgh 
  5. Bristol
  6. Leeds
  7. Birmingham
  8. Newcastle
  9. Cardiff
  10. Belfast

With more money than ever flowing into UK tech – £26 billion this year, up 2.3x from last year’s figures of £11.5 billion – regional cities are taking a bigger slice of the pie. Around £9 billion of all total funding went to startups and scaleups outside of London, indicating that world-class tech companies are being built across the UK every day.  

This regional growth took place against the backdrop of an incredible year for the UK tech industry. Tech investment grew 2.3x this year, the highest growth since 2013 to 2014 when it grew from $2 billion to $4.6 billion. 

Sandy McKinnon, Partner at Pentech Ventures, said: “Edinburgh has steadily been growing as a tech hub over the past few years and this list recognises that. The combination of world-class universities, established IT businesses and unicorns like Skyscanner and FanDuel means there is a lot of exciting talent and innovation in the city. We’re seeing this with newcomers like TravelNest, Desana, Amicus, Biomage and many others that are disrupting traditional industries – there really is so much potential around the city.”

Saul Klein, partner and co-founder at LocalGlobe, said:  “It’s taken 20 years for UK tech to get to the starting line and things start to get interesting in the next 20 years. We have all the ingredients to become the leading tech ecosystem in the world, with record levels of R&D, financing and established tech hubs across the country from New Palo Alto in Kings Cross, to Cambridge, Edinburgh and Manchester. But the key differentiator for investors in future will be a willingness to take an ethical approach to building businesses. We can be world-class in this and over the long term this will set our companies apart from those built in the US and China.”  

Andrew Hunter, co-founder at Adzuna, said: “The growth of tech companies across the UK has led to a surge in hiring across the country. The number of IT job openings is higher than its ever been and is consistently growing week on week. In particular, it’s great to see strong hiring in cities like Manchester and Birmingham which are showcasing some of the highest figures outside of London. The struggle for businesses across the country is having enough skilled staff to fill these positions to allow them to keep growing.” 

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