Leeds tech hub ‘more attractive than London’
Leeds is an increasingly attractive destination for technology companies and workers, a delegation from the city found during an event in London.
The ever-growing number of high quality tech vacancies, competitive salaries and an accessible housing market were cited as reasons why graduates and professionals are keen to make the move north.
BusinessCloud also found during a recent roundtable in the city that it is proving a fertile breeding ground for start-ups, with sites such as the Round Foundry Media Centre (pictured above) – a series of redveloped Grade II-listed mills – housing tech businesses at various stages of development.
Herd founder Amy De-Balsi (below), who headed the Leeds Tech team at the two-day Silicon Milk Roundabout jobs fair on Brick Lane, said firms are also giving serious consideration to switching their operations to Yorkshire.
“We returned with more than 50 CVs from people actively seeking their next role,” De-Balsi said.
“There were also many others who took away information to pass to friends who had expressed an interest in relocating to Leeds.
“And we spoke to two growing digital companies with plans to open offices in London but, upon reflection, now regard Leeds as a more attractive option.”
The delegation was supported by Leeds City Council and Leeds Business Improvement District and included experts on its universities, regeneration plans and cultural attractions as well as local graffiti artist Bretski (below), who created a selection of Leeds-themed exhibits.
The Leeds tech sector comprises 1,350 companies and more than 10,000 employees.
“Our messages about the quality of life in Leeds, the competitive salaries and, crucially, housing prices in comparison to London had real resonance with the people we met,” De-Balsi added.
“Rather than run our own job fair in London, the Leeds Digital Job’s Board’s decision to hitch our wagon to Silicon Milk Roundabout proved to be inspired.
“London can expect to hear much more about the Leeds digital revolution in the time ahead.”