Belfast named among UK’s fastest growing tech cities, report finds

Northern Ireland city ranked 10th in league topped by Cambridge, Manchester and Oxford

Belfast has been named among the UK's fastest growing tech cities according to a new report for the UK's Digital Economy Council.

The city was ranked 10th in the levelling up tech power league, behind cities including Cardiff, Birmingham and Newcastle. Cambridge topped the league, followed by Manchester and Oxford.

Belfast scored highly for a combination of high levels of venture capital funding, available job opportunities, salaries and both current and future high-growth tech companies.

The ranking, which was compiled by Dealroom and the job search engine Adzuna for the Digital Economy Council, found of all available jobs opportunities in the city, technology vacancies accounted for almost a quarter. The demand for skilled tech workers was also significantly higher, up almost 80 per cent year on year with 1,4000 tech jobs on offer.

The Digital Economy Council is an advisory committee of independent members set up to provide advice to the government.

Start-ups

Start-ups and growing companies in Belfast have raised £20 million (€23.6 million) over the year, up from £16 million in 2020. Among the 17 companies that raised funding in 2021 were neuroscience start-up Cumulus Neuroscience, the SaaS fintech, Lightyear.cloud, and healthcare training platform MedAll.

That comes in the context of a record year for the UK tech sector, which raised a total of £26 billion compared with 2020's £11.5 billion and the £13.5 billion raised in Germany. Some £9 billion went to companies outside London.

Almost 40 per cent of the funding came from the US, with more than 28 per cent sourced from domestic capital.

"It's fantastic to see Belfast rank in the top-ten regional UK cities for tech. The new data recognises the talent in the region and Northern Ireland's thriving digital sector," the UK's digital minister Chris Philp said. "As part of our mission to level up the country we are helping power new tech growth in the region by helping people get the skills they need to succeed and backing businesses with pro-innovation policies."