Edinburgh hailed as booming tech hub

Edinburgh is among the UK’s fastest-growing tech clusters, competing with London for skilled workers and in some cases offering more attractive pay, new figures suggest.

Stuart Lunn, chief executive and founder of peer-to-peer specialist LendingCrowd, is 'proud to be part of Edinburghs thriving tech ecosystem'. Picture: contributed.

The Scottish capital was named as a digital hub vying with London and the South-East for talent in the sector, according to research for the UK Government’s Digital Economy Council by Tech Nation.The report showed that Edinburgh employs more than 44,000 people in the ­digital tech sector, who take home average salaries of £42,500. This is almost 15 per cent higher than the overall average in the city.

Around 4 per cent of the Scottish capital’s working population are active in digital tech, compared with 6 per cent in London.

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The study also highlighted that, UK-wide, 230,000 of tech sector vacancies advertised in 2018 were for non-tech roles. Edinburgh boasted one of the highest ratios for this, with almost 60 per cent of jobs in the digital sector not requiring technical expertise.

Taking into account adjusted living costs, the study named the Scottish capital as the best place to work as an analyst, while Glasgow – although not included as one of the top clusters – topped the table in terms of wage benefits for certain developers and project managers in the sector.

Tech Nation reported a record 1.7 million UK digital technology job openings in 2018, driven by growth in regional hubs.

Stuart Lunn, chief executive and founder of Edinburgh-based peer-to-peer specialist LendingCrowd, said: “We are proud to be part of Edinburgh’s thriving tech ecosystem. But as we grow, we need access to a greater range of skills that will complement the tech talent we already have.

“Tech sector roles are not just for people with coding or engineering skills but can provide great jobs for people with all sorts of creative and problem-solving skills.”

George Windsor, head of insights at Tech Nation, added: “The tech economy is bigger than sectors like hospitality and construction. However, increasingly, those lines are getting blurred, with technology jobs crossing over into the mainstream sectors like financial services and health, helping them to evolve and stay competitive and productive.”

Bryan Dove, chief executive of Skyscanner, said the growth of UK tech companies was “testament to the quality and diversity of talented people living and moving to the UK”.

He added: “Our roots are in the UK with 60 per cent of our team based between Edinburgh, Glasgow and London.”