March 27, 2019

3 min read

Three UK cities to watch

Three UK cities to watch

According to the Tech Nation 2018 report, the UK’s digital tech sector is worth nearly £184 billion to its economy. London isn’t the only city feeling the benefit of the nation’s rapid technological expansion. In fact, the UK has 16 towns with a higher proportion of employees working in technology than London.

Businesses of all sizes are moving away from London’s saturated ecosystem, forming thriving technology clusters across the UK. Liverpool, Bristol and Edinburgh all boast thriving tech sectors and are contributing to the UK’s overall engineering and manufacturing success.


The city played a crucial part in the first industrial revolution, benefitting from its infrastructure network across land and sea. Unsurprisingly, this industrial city is also heavily focussed on the fourth industrial revolution. For example, it has launched the LCR4.0 initiative to increase the application of Internet of Things (IoT) technologies in SMEs.

Liverpool contributes £3.2 billion to Britain’s economy and the city hosts around 50,000 manufacturing employees across 3,000 companies. The region includes leading players like LPW and INEOS as well as boasting SMEs and start-ups, particularly focussed around the city’s Baltic Triangle district.  Liverpool is also home to Digital Manufacturing Week, hosted annually at its Exhibition Centre.


Digital technology is the fastest growing sector in Scotland, which has strengths in data science, cyber security, robotics and stem cell research. According to a 2017 report from Stack Overflow, the region is home to 20,000 developers — the equivalent of seven developers per 100 people in the workforce. Almost 50 per cent of the region’s workforce is employed in knowledge intensive jobs such as computing, communications scientific research and the creative industries.

The capital of Scotland is home to the UK’s largest technology incubator, Codebase, which helps innovative start-ups to grow and develop. Several household names were founded in the city too, for example of Skyscanner, which changed the way consumers book flights.


Ranked in the top five most innovative technology clusters in the UK according to a 2018 Tech Innovation Index by The Data City, Bristol is a sterling example of British engineering and technological success. In the same index, the city also ranked in the top ten for advanced manufacturing, artificial intelligence and data. Interestingly, Bristol has the highest digital technology turnover per person in the UK at £320,000.

Like Liverpool, Bristol benefits from its geography, as it acts as a gateway to other regions in the south west and in Wales. The region is well established in the aerospace sector — the Bristol and Bath region is home to nine out of the twelve largest aerospace companies in the UK. Alongside aerospace, the region is now attracting a wider range of engineering businesses, such as robotics companies. This might be something to do with the Bristol Robotics Laboratory, which is the largest in Europe.

And it’s not just these cities that are thriving. EU Automation has close ties with customers across the UK, distributing obsolete industrial parts from its Staffordshire warehouse to help the manufacturing industry across the UK — and further afield — continue to thrive.

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