Leeds: A City on the Rise
This week we’re handing the keys to the blog over to digital delivery buffs, and this year’s Executive Sponsors AND Digital.
Chief for UK Growth, Malcolm Seagrave, takes a look at how Leeds has become a thriving hub for UK business, and the opportunities for growth within the city.
The M62 Corridor is now competing at a global level and has become a critical part of the UK economy. While Manchester is often spotlighted in the national media as a city bursting with creativity and innovative energy, that energy can, in fact, be felt across the entire area, particularly in Leeds and West Yorkshire. From the bustling centre to the swathes of independent retailers that call the city home, of the many industries thriving in Leeds none have risen quite so successfully as the tech sector.
Now the fastest growing digital economy in the UK, the Leeds tech sector constitutes 27% of the city’s high-growth companies and employs over 102,000 people. AND Digital is proud to help power that energy. As an organisation that helps equip businesses with the knowledge and expertise they need to successfully leverage digital, we’ve seen how belief, commitment, and focus can unlock success not just for individual companies, but for entire communities.
At the centre of UK innovation
In recent years there has been an influx of amazing companies to West Yorkshire. As a member of the Leeds Digital Board I’ve been able to see that unfold at each step, and I continue to be amazed by the talent and ambition that the region now possesses. NHS, Sky, SkyBet, and Covea are all evidence of the level of skill and knowledge that’s out there. And with Channel 4 and the Bank of England announcing plans to build hubs in Leeds, it’s hard for anyone to argue that the city and the wider West Yorkshire region are right now at the centre of UK innovation.
The city also boasts an attractive start-up ecosystem. With equity finance, accelerators and a strong talent pool – courtesy of the many universities – all readily available, Leeds has quickly become a thriving base for UK innovation. It’s for this reason that we’re opening our second AND office (which we call ‘Clubs’) in Leeds. It will also be our fourth Club in the West Yorkshire region; we think it underlines our continuing plan to invest in the ‘digital north’ story.
Powering our new Club
The new Leeds Club demonstrates the scope of the opportunities available in the city, and what makes AND’s approach so effective and popular with clients. While we have fearless ambition and plan to grow to become a global consultancy with 60 Clubs around the world by 2025, we will always remain true to our belief that local and regional knowledge can provide better support for clients and enable more effective digital transformation.
Our commitment to the northern corridor’s tech community will continue to underpin our ethos, and The Club will allow us to build even stronger links with companies in the region. We’re excited to play a part in reinforcing Leeds’ already formidable reputation!
More importantly, we can’t wait to work with the huge number of talented and skilled people that want to make a real impact in how the UK – and the world – leverages digital. As one of 5 Best companies to work for in the region, and the winner of the coveted Tech Employer of the Year (against an amazing field of great companies) at the Leeds Digital Festival Awards in 2020, we’re an organisation that offers a place to do just that.
With the Leeds tech sector going from strength to strength, and our new AND club set to support even more ambitious organisations in the city, this is a great time to be part of Leeds Digital Festival. We know it has taken a lot of hard work from talented people to make this special part of Yorkshire such a critical part of the UK tech industry; we’re excited to celebrate that work and play a part in shaping the future.