Monday, January 18, 2016

News: Rotherham's booming tech sector

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Rotherham has one of the fastest growing technology clusters in the UK according to research in the latest KPMG/Markit Tech Monitor UK Survey.

The survey tracks the state of the UK Tech community, covering key questions on the level of business activity, profitability, employment growth rates, and business confidence, as well as monitoring where tech clusters are in the UK.

The number of tech-related enterprises in the UK private sector has risen by 31% since 2010. This represents a net gain of approximately 45,000 enterprises over a five year period, or one additional tech sector enterprise every hour of the day for the past five years.

The survey found that Rotherham had the third fastest increase in tech sector enterprises over the last year, up by an impressive 21%. It was the only local authority in Yorkshire and Humber to enter in to the UK's top 25.

Reading remains the number one tech cluster in the UK and Warwick had the fastest increase in tech sector enterprises over the last year.

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All 12 UK regions experienced a rise in the number of tech sector enterprises since latest year. At the same time, some 63 local authorities saw double-digit growth since 2014.

Tech Monitor UK uses a specially selected panel of tech sector executives within the Markit UK Purchasing Managers' Index (PMI) surveys, to provide a unique and up-to-date assessment of the sector's economic performance.

Estimates for local authority level tech sector clusters take in 16 categories of business activity that can be broadly defined as tech-related areas. Industry groups included in the survey range from software publishing to the manufacture of air and spacecraft and related machinery, and from data processing to engineering design.

Tudor Aw, partner and head of KPMG's Technology Sector, said: "Since the end of the financial crisis, we have seen a UK Tech sector that has delivered six years of continuous growth and created jobs at a faster and higher rate that the rest of the UK economy.

"The number of Tech Enterprises has risen by a third since 2010, double the growth for all private sector enterprises and equating to a new Tech enterprise every hour for the last five years. Crucially, this growth has occurred throughout the UK with some 63 Local Authorities achieving double digit growth since 2014.

"We can therefore be justly proud of the Tech scene and be optimistic for the future of what must be a key sector for the UK. It is important however, that more be done to help ensure the continued growth of the sector, particularly around STEM subject education, regulatory and fiscal conditions, and last but not least, profile within the media to highlight the importance and success of the sector."

Proposals for a Sheffield-Rotherham Advanced Manufacturing Innovation District (AMID) are gathering pace based around the idea of developing Europe's largest research-led advanced manufacturing cluster.

Rotherham Council is addressing the enterprise gap through a network of four successful Business Incubation Centres, run by its regeneration arm, RiDO across the borough that provide support for start-up and new SMEs.

Rotherham's Growth Plan, which aims to help deliver 10,000 new private sector jobs, includes estimates that the advanced manufacturing sector is likely to grow by 2,300 jobs in Rotherham over the next eight years and Creative and Digital Industries could create a further 700 jobs.

KPMG website

Images: RiDO

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