United Kingdom tech is surging past the rest of the economy

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During 2017, United Kingdom digital technology companies raised GBP 4.5 billion in venture capital investment, nearly double the figure raised in 2016, according to PitchBook figures.

"Tech Nation 2018 not only highlights the underlying strength of our digital economy but also emphasises its huge potential", digital secretary Matt Hancock said. This year's survey interviewed 3,428 people members of the United Kingdom tech community, including founders and workers in tech companies, but has been heavily spun to de-emphasise the effects of Brexit on the United Kingdom tech industry. Newbury, in Berkshire, is home to Vodafone's headquarters and has a higher "digital density" than anywhere else in the United Kingdom, as companies seek to expand beyond London. "That is why we need to be able to attract more senior leaders from U.S. and Chinese tech hubs". These include places like Swindon, Livingston or Newbury.

And it noted Chris van der Kuyl and Paddy Burns, founders of Minecraft games developer 4J Studios, having launched Water's Edge, a new co-working space for businesses with an appetite for innovation on the city's regenerating waterfront. For instance, blockchain is a popular in Manchester; shown by analysis of Meetup data which found there were 151 meetups and almost 62000 members.

The UK's digital technology sector is still outpacing the rest of the country's economy.

These smaller population centres are attracting more digital tech businesses just as the whole United Kingdom tech sector widens the growth gap between itself and other sectors.

More than 70pc of respondents think the number of digital businesses in their local area will rise over the next 12 months while more than 90pc think the scale of digital businesses will either expand or stay the same.

The report shows there is some progress being made in terms of diversity, but there is still some way to go.

Around 15pc of those in digital tech jobs are from a black, Asian or ethnic minority background, significantly higher than the 10pc across all United Kingdom jobs. Women are still grossly underrepresented; only 19% of the digital tech workforce is female, compared to 49% across all United Kingdom jobs.

The stereotype that tech is the territory of millennials is also misplaced as 72% of United Kingdom digital tech workers are, on average, over 35. But the United Kingdom capital was one of only two European cities that made it into the global top 10 in terms of digital tech ecosystems; the other was Berlin.

Still, some problems are broadly consistent across the nation.

In the rest of the country, access to talent was cited as the most common challenge - affecting 83% of the UK's regional tech clusters. Access to funding (49%) and bad transport links (29%) make up the next two setbacks.

In other words, with over half of London tech workers born outside the UK, Brexit and its impact of the future immigration status of much-needed tech talent will continue to overshadow the entire issue.

Gerard Grech, chief executive of Tech Nation, said: "Tech Nation 2018 is the first major milestone of Tech Nation, the organisation now working across the country to build networks that support ambitious entrepreneurs and shine a light on the achievements of our tech sector".

Digital tech companies in London are "the most connected in Europe", second only to Silicon Valley for global connections. Looking at new jobs creation, the figures are even bigger.

Eight cities were also revealed to be showing above-average tech employment trends beyond locations such as East London and Manchester.

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