London crowned the capital of European technology
London is officially the tech capital of Europe, with almost 200,000 people employed in the sector across the capital.
This comes according to figures produced by Oxford Economics, revealing that London’s digital technology sector has swelled by 46% since 2010 – a growth that’s twice as rapid as the UK average.
London’s tech prominence has been further reinforced by stats from professional-services firm EY, suggesting more than 1,000 international tech investment projects decided to locate in London between 2005 and 2014.
That figure becomes even more staggering when you compare it to the next most attractive cities: Paris (381), Dublin (162) and Madrid (139). In fact, more international startups chose London between 2005 and 2014 than the entirety of France (853).
“Over the last decade more international tech investment projects have come to London than Paris, Dublin, Madrid, Amsterdam and Munich combined,” said Gordon Innes, CEO of London & Partners. “It’s testament to London’s visionary tech entrepreneurs and international investors who have made London the most exciting place in the world for tech”.
The mayor of London, Boris Johnson, said the news was “hardly surprising” and that the sector “has flourished beyond recognition in the last five years, creating thousands of jobs and outpacing the rest of the economy”.
The research has been released to mark the start of London Technology Week along with the five-year anniversary of the Tech City initiative, launched by Boris Johnson and David Cameron in 2010. The week will see hundreds of international companies take part in more than 200 events showcasing the capital’s tech business credentials.
Amazon also announced today that it would be moving its corporate headquarters to London, bringing 2,000 jobs along with it. “We have invested well over £1 billion in our UK infrastructure,” said Christopher North, managing director of Amazon UK. “The building of our new office in Shoreditch is a further illustration of the important role that London and the UK will play in our global operations.”
While London’s digital technology sector has undoubtedly grown, figures from EY suggest that the rest of England has seen a comparative drop in interest from startups. Between 2005 and 2014 the number of “tech projects” in London rose from around 70 to 165. For the rest of England over the same period, that number fell from around 105 to 50. While the growth of the sector in London is impressive, it does indicate a centralisation of investment – one that may dissuade international companies from considering other big UK cities such as Bristol and Manchester.