Business Boost | 17 May 2018 - by Ian Midgley

KCOM helps Hull cement its place as a UK digital hotspot according to Tech Nation 2018

Hull’s tech sector is booming according to an influential survey of the UK’s digital economy.

The Tech Nation Report 2018 has revealed that the tech sector added £402m of value to the local economy last year – up from an average of £254m between 2013 and 2015. Jobs in the digital tech sector in Hull have also increased by 15 per cent since 2014, beating the national average of 13.2 per cent.

Hull is one of 30 tech hotspots identified by the report as helping to make the UK a “global tech leader”.

Sean Royce, KCOM’s executive vice president, said Tech Nation’s survey shows Hull is increasingly a force to be reckoned in the UK’s vibrant tech economy.

He said: “What Tech Nation 2018 shows is that Hull really is a brilliant place to be for tech and digital businesses. From innovative start-ups to established world leaders we have the digital ecosystem in place to make sure tech industry here is flourishing. This can only be a good thing as Hull reinvents itself a 21st century city.

“At KCOM we’re proud to be playing our part in this renaissance by rolling out our ultrafast broadband which is underpinning that growth. It’s not an exaggeration to say that our full fibre network in Hull and East Yorkshire is the envy of the rest of the UK, making this region a highly desirable place for both tech start-ups and burgeoning tech companies to base themselves.”

The report states that the digital tech sector supported 7,008 jobs in the Hull area in 2017, nearly a hundred more than in the previous 12 months.

A major factor underpinning the region’s tech sector growth, according to the survey, is its ultrafast internet speeds and KCOM’s full fibre broadband network which allows cutting edge companies to innovate and compete with the rest of the world.

Other factors making Hull an attractive location for tech start-ups include the quality of life, cost of living, proximity to the sources of talent such as the University of Hull and Ron Dearing UTC and a supportive local business tech community based at the Centre For Digital Innovation (C4DI).

John Connolly, managing director of C4DI, said the future is looking bright for Hull.

In the report he says: “We have challenges like many other areas, but the rate of growth in tech, the fact that it’s embedded within local industry - rather in a disparate siloed tech community - our fibre infrastructure, our talent from organisations such as the UTC and University of Hull, and the fact we’re the UK’s most cost effective place to run a tech company give us considerable confidence for the future.

“Central to the growth of the tech scene in Hull is the slow-tech worlds of traditional organisations coming together with the fast-tech world of tech startups and scale-ups. This enables traditional organisations to harness technology they would never normally have been exposed to, and helps tech companies connect to supply chains and mentors they’d never previously have been able to access.”

For more details about Tech Nation 2018 and Hull’s high tech economy visit https://technation.io/insights/report-2018/hull/

© KCOM Group PLC 2018