Manchester has been revealed as the fastest growing top European tech city, with an increase in investment of £48m to £181m from 2018 to 2019, representing an increase of 277%.

The results are from the annual Tech Nation Report that today reveals key stats on the UK’s booming tech industry.

2019 was an incredibly positive year for the UK tech sector. Compared to the rest of the UK economy, digital tech grew 6 times faster than any other industry (the digital tech sector contributed £149bn to the UK economy in 2018, accounting for 7.7% of UK GVA. This is nearly 6 times greater than growth across the economy as a whole, which increased by 1.4%).

In 2019 there were 2.9m people employed in the digital tech economy, an increase of 40% from 2017, with the digital tech economy now accounting for 9% of the national workforce compared to 7% two years ago.

Late stage scaling investment in the UK has boomed over the last year: Series C investment onwards grew by 71%, and Growth Equity (Private Equity) grew by 51%, indicating that the UK tech ecosystem is scaling and companies are ready to take on large sums to enable unicorn style growth.

In 2019, 81.2% of investment into UK tech went to scaling firms, compared to 80% in 2018. A ‘scaleup business’ is defined as a company which has seen average annualised growth of at least 20% over three years with 10 or more employees at the start of the period.

Fintech remains the UK’s largest tech investment sector with a 100% rise from 2018. 44% of Europe’s Fintech unicorns and companies valued between $250m and $800m are based in the UK.

In 2019, for every £1 invested into New Technologies (AI, robotics, cybersecurity, blockchain, IoT, virtual reality, and augmented reality) in Europe, 35 pence was invested into UK companies.

Digital Secretary Oliver Dowden said: “It’s great to see the north west’s tech sector continuing its tremendous growth. Manchester is the fastest growing tech city in Europe and Liverpool saw a 150 per cent increase in investment into its tech companies last year.

“We’re investing in digital skills, cyber security and research and development, as well as regional infrastructure such as gigabit speed broadband and 5G to keep up this momentum.”

Mo Aldalou, Entrepreneur Engagement Manager, North West commented: “The Tech Nation Report 2020 today shows that the tech scene is booming in the North West. Manchester has been named as the fastest-growing tech city in Europe with a 277% increase in investment from £48m to £181m from 2018 to 2019.  The picture is equally strong across the region with £600m of venture capital investment in 2019, five tech ‘unicorn’ companies with a $1billion+ valuation and 4 high-value tech scaleups well on their way to becoming unicorns. I am delighted to see that wejo and Matillion have been chosen to join our Future Fifty 8.0 cohort, demonstrating the vibrancy and strength of scaleups across the North West.”


Please enter your comment!
Please enter your name here