Newcastle: The go-to place for tech businesses?

November 5, 2021

Our region’s creative and digital sector is critical to our economic recovery and growth, with Newcastle attracting a lot of attention in recent months. Here, Jennifer Hartley, director of Invest Newcastle at NewcastleGateshead Initiative, explains why.

Words by Jennifer Hartley

Director of Invest Newcastle at NewcastleGateshead Initiative

We often refer to Newcastle as a city of opportunity, which I think rings true on many aspects, whether you’re a resident, visitor, local business or potential investor.

Newcastle has been attracting a lot of attention, with Invest Newcastle securing a record number of investments in 2020/2021 despite the challenges brought by the pandemic.
Latest investments include global tech firm Thoughtworks, and Xplor, a leading US-owned provider of enterprise software.

We’ve also seen huge growth within the sector, notably Ubisoft Reflections and Opencast Software, as well as SoPost and mkodo, to name a few.

Not only does inward investment bring valuable jobs, but companies like Thoughtworks are committed to making a tangible contribution to our region’s growth, in terms of attracting more business, supporting innovation and investing in the sector’s social impact.

Newcastle being recognised as one of the UK’s top ten tech hotspots (TechNation 2021), being home to the National Innovation Centre for Data, our tech network strength and proximity to world-class universities are just some of the reasons why we’ve seen a recent influx of tech and digital investment.

Indeed, in recognition of our strengths, the BBC recently announced it will spend at least £25 million over the next five years across the North East to fund network TV production, talent development and support our creative sector.

This news further cements the point that you don’t need to be in London to have an exciting and ambitious career in the tech and creative space. And homegrown talent is key to us building on this success.

Furthermore, the recent £12 million investment into the digital sector from the North of Tyne Combined Authority will not only support Invest Newcastle to build on the North of Tyne’s complementary digital strengths, but will support the ecosystem, including start-ups, new investors, growth potential for existing companies, and the delivery of a Digital Talent Engine project from Dynamo, supporting the growth of the digital workforce, which is vital to attracting inward investment.

Invest Newcastle has also received funding that will allow us to build on the North of Tyne’s complementary digital strengths and represent the diversity we have to offer global investors.

Investors are waking up to the fact that venturing outside of London is a good idea. The North is well connected, offers an unrivalled quality of life, is competitive and, is, in fact, booming.
And the key to further growth will be building on the solid foundations we’ve laid out, in collaboration with our local authorities, universities, businesses, digital networks and city ambassadors.

In working together on our shared vision for the city, we have a very bright future ahead of us.