Leeds ranked fourth among EMEA cities for tech growth clusters

Leeds has made a top four ranking in Europe, the Middle East and Africa (EMEA) in the Growth Cluster sector, according a recent study by global real estate advisor, CBRE, into tech cities across EMEA.

The report – EMEA Tech Cities: Opportunities in Technology Hotspots – provides a framework for occupiers and investors to measure the characteristics of technology clusters in economic, leasing and employment terms at regional and city level.

Covering capital cities and business centres with more than 70,000 people in tech employment, the report identifies four different categories of technology cluster in EMEA, based on a city’s level, concentration and growth of tech sector employment.

Leeds ranked fourth in the growth cluster category as a result of a double digit growth in tech employment since 2010, and its forecast of even further growth in the sector in the next five years.

Leeds has placed alongside Derby/Nottingham, Florence and Krakow as cities which are predicting significant growth often in niche sectors. Some cities have grown supporting other sectors, others are low labour cost destinations in CEE and some are second tier cities and regional business centres.

Jonathan Shires, senior director of the Office Agency team at CBRE Leeds, said: “Leeds has experienced significant tech growth in the past few years which has started to change the way landlords refurbish and lease space.

“We’ve seen many new entrants, including the recent announcement that Dahua Technology, the world-leading solution provider in video surveillance and security technology, had chosen White Rose in Leeds as its first Northern office.”

Stephen Fleetwood, head of location analytics at CBRE, added: “These smaller, but fast-growing and often niche location clusters are perhaps the most interesting of all, as they demonstrate the footloose nature of the tech sector and the critical importance of labour and skills in the evolution of tech cities.

“Companies that drive this cluster are often not bound by legacy locations, or historical ties to cities or countries and real estate is not their primary concern, but simply an enabler.

“The question of where to find tech labour is exercising many companies at present, and this grouping includes some non-obvious, but increasingly important locations with strong skills credentials.”

London topped the ranking in EMEA’s largest technology clusters, according to research from CBRE.