Hull's C4DI tech hub

Hull is now one of the UK’s leading hubs for tech investment according to a major new report.

The Tech Nation 2021 report has revealed that Hull is the top destination for investment in the tech sector across the north of England – and sixth in the UK as a whole.

With £88m investment in the tech sector in 2020, Hull attracted more than double the investment of cities such as Leeds last year, setting the scene for a strong economic recovery post Covid-19.

KCOM chief executive officer Dale Raneberg welcomed the report saying it pointed to a vibrant, innovative and sustainable future for the region.

He said: “This is excellent news that shows Hull and the wider Humber region are seeing real benefits from pioneering investments in fibre technology and is now a leading location for exciting new tech start-ups as well as established international industry leaders.

“In recent years KCOM’s UK-leading full fibre network has provided the solid foundations for the stellar growth of the tech and digital sectors here, enabling many businesses to compete on an international level using our world class connectivity.

“This has helped jumpstart a real economic renaissance in the area that we believe will continue to go from strength to strength as we emerge from the effects of the coronavirus pandemic.

“This success encourages us to do more. The £100m network expansion plans we announced last year are now bringing the benefits of ultrafast broadband – and all the economic advantages it entails – to an even wider area of East Yorkshire, North Lincolnshire and North Yorkshire.

“Evidence of tangible economic impacts are great news and we will continue to play our part to give this region the 21st century infrastructure it deserves.”

Breaking the impressive investment figures down, the report reveals that £17.6m was invested in health tech in the region in 2020, an increase of 145 per cent, while £7.4m was invested in Createch, an emerging field where technology enables the creative sector to produce new products, services and experiences. This witnessed a 278 per cent increase on 2019 levels.

The report also showed 38.7 per cent of people working in the tech sector were aged under 35, an age group whose employment opportunities have been more adversely affected by the impact of the pandemic.

The report shows the UK has secured its strong position as third in the world at attracting venture capital investment in the tech sector, behind only the US and China.

Prime Minister Boris Johnson said the past 12 months have demonstrated the huge importance of tech to the UK economy.

He said: “They say necessity is the mother of invention. It has been a year in which the brutal necessity of restricting human contact has escalated the importance of tech of all kinds, from the NHS app to Zoom calls.

“So, it is perhaps not surprising that in spite of Covid – or even because of Covid – the UK is maintaining its lead as one of the world’s premier centres for tech of all kinds.

“As the sector grows and grows it contributes more and more to our economy, a silicon supercharge that benefits us all.

“And that’s before we even get to the tech itself, the sparks of ideas that, properly funded and fanned, can change the way we live, work, play and even think about life.”