Cambridge - one of the UK's most innovative tech hubs

May 23, 2018

JLL is immensely proud to have partnered with Tech Nation to launch its annual research report, Tech Nation 2018, in Cambridge this week.

Tech Nation – the UK network for ambitious tech entrepreneurs – is a new organisation that combines and expands the activities and reach of Tech City UK and Tech North, which have been helping to accelerate the growth of the digital tech sector in London and the North of England over the last few years. Prime Minister Theresa May and Chancellor Philip Hammond announced plans to create Tech Nation last November.

As the Tech Nation 2018 report shows, Cambridge is a city that has embraced tech through supporting fast-growing start-ups and leveraging its links to the world-renowned University of Cambridge. There has been £1.4 billion follow-on funding from Cambridge University spin-outs, and over 240 firms have been founded by Cambridge University alumni.

The city's tech sector is worth £2.4bn and is one of the most innovative tech centres in the UK, and home to Europe's largest technology cluster with over 1,500 tech businesses in the city.

The city continues to foster and support growth for tech businesses, who collectively employ more than 15,500 people. In the last 12 months, we've seen some of the biggest names in tech expand their presence in Cambridge alongside growing demand for start-up space. The nature of tech firms and their workplace strategies has seen demand for flexible and co-working spaces increase and the real estate sector continues to evolve to cater for these requirements.

The growth of Cambridge's tech sector has also led to the creation of some of the city's most innovative workplaces, including Microsoft Research and Amazon's offices near the station and the Bradfield Centre on Cambridge Science Park.

Looking forward, the city's tech sector is upbeat about their growth prospects. According to the 2018 Tech Nation survey, 79% of the Cambridge tech community think the scale of tech businesses will expand in the next 12 months, while 84% believe the number of tech businesses will increase.

Cambridge's fundamentals as a leading UK tech hub are well established and the consensus is that it will continue to grow. This is further supported by Cambridge having the fifth fastest growing population in the UK, and succeeding at retaining graduates locally by offering a high quality of life. Building on this success, however, will require a concerted effort to provide more innovative real estate solutions to house the diverse range of businesses that Cambridge is home to.

JLL's involvement with Tech Nation will enable us to play in a key role in addressing some of the issues that the sector faces through collaboration with a wide range of players, all of whom bring unique knowledge, experience, and insight to one of the UK's most exciting business communities.

This article was written by Angus Currie, Director - Office Agency.

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