Newcastle - home to a thriving start-up tech community


June 27, 2018

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

We have seen impressive growth in the number of digital start-ups entering the market in Newcastle and there is evidence they are forging the thriving networks needed to drive success.

Newcastle, as the Tech Nation 2018 report highlights, is also home to a host of entrepreneurs and established businesses, willing to share their expertise with these start-ups. Fostering this kind of peer support is crucial as firms look to scale-up their presence in the region.

Between 2011 and 2016 there has been a 154% increase in the creation of new businesses and the sector is now worth almost £1bn in the region.

Prime Minister Theresa May and Chancellor Philip Hammond launched Tech Nation – the UK network for ambitious tech entrepreneurs. It is a new organisation that combines and expands the reach of Tech City UK and Tech North, which have been helping to grow the digital tech sector in London and the North of England.

Business growth across Newcastle's digital landscape is stimulated by networks such as the Newcastle Tech Trust, a group of experienced founders who understand the needs of early-stage, high-growth tech companies.

As we move forward it will be crucial to ensure the region has the kind of flexible, affordable office spaces that allow these businesses to co-exist and quickly scale-up.

The North East Fund, also known as Jeremie 2, is now live and should stimulate the local economy by supporting start-up and scale-up firms. The £120 million fund could help create over 2,500 jobs over the next five years by supporting 600 businesses.

Newcastle's tech firms posted turnover of £995m last year and employ over 10,000 people. The strength of its local universities means businesses have a nearby talent pool and the innovative research they need to thrive.

Looking forward the city's tech sector is upbeat about its prospects. According to the 2018 Tech Nation survey, 68% of respondents believe the digital sector will grow in the next year, while 70% think the number of tech firms will increase.

Newcastle is viewed as an attractive place to live, according to the survey, but more needs to be done to promote these qualities if it is to attract and retain the talent it needs to ensure these start-ups and collaborations continue to flourish.

This article was written by Jeff Pearey, Lead Director – JLL Yorkshire and North East Region

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