London has long been considered the ideal location for tech companies in the UK, and there are plenty of factors you could quote as a valid argument for why that remains to be so. Indeed according to recent research London tech workers are more likely to say that their city is most suited for tech companies compared to those in other regional cities; however that same research also reveals that despite this, 1 in 5 London tech workers are either in the process of moving to another city, or are currently considering it.

So what exactly is driving top tech talent away from the capital? The research asserts that the apparent exodus is largely due to a desire for a better quality of life, lower living costs, and more affordable housing; the problem has in fact become so severe that as many as 65% of the survey’s respondents agreed that being in London rather than a UK regional city is problematic for their business due to employees being unable to afford the high living costs associated with life in the capital.

To break it down a little further, the primary motivators for London tech workers to consider a move to a regional city are as follows:
  • Quality of life (64%)
  • Lower living costs (51%)
  • Affordability of housing (47%)
  • Higher disposable income (45%)
As for where these talented workers are now heading, regional cities such as Birmingham, Sheffield and Glasgow have become prime destinations, with the former in particular now boasting a thriving tech industry. The city is now home to over 3,000 tech and digital firms, many drawn in by the extensive and ongoing Greater Birmingham and Solihull Local Enterprise Partnership (LEP), which is now the UK’s fastest growing core city LEP. As a result, the number of tech and digital companies based within the city of Birmingham has risen by 38% over the past five years.

Jay Abbott, Managing Director of Falanx, explained the motivation behind the security company’s decision to move their own cyber security division from London to Birmingham in a recent conversation with Business Matters, in which he said, “We moved our cyber division to Birmingham to meet our expansion ambitions. We wanted to have the room to grow and being based in Birmingham has opened a lot of doors that would not have ordinarily opened for us. The vast number of professional services firms in the city and the wider region has enabled us to grow as we meet their demand and help them to grapple with the incoming GDPR regulations.

“It’s not just about value for money, but also the platform that the city has provided for us to grow so rapidly and to launch new products, which just wouldn’t have been possible if we were in London or another city. Birmingham is leading the way when it comes to innovation and moving here has accelerated our growth beyond anything we could have expected.”

Sam Bonson

Sam is an aspiring novelist with a passion for fantasy and crime thrillers. He is currently working as a content writer, journalist & editor as he continues to expand his horizons.
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