Top tech cities for those looking to leave London behind

As the largest and fastest growing tech hub in the UK, London may seem like the only option for those interested in a career in digital. However, with the big smoke becoming increasingly unaffordable for young professionals, it is understandable why so many are venturing to other booming tech cities in the UK. To help, we have selected the top tech cities for those looking to leave London behind.

1. Manchester

CBRE claims that Manchester is in fact the UK’s top tech city, with the largest number of tech businesses, average salaries of over £47,000 and its digital sector is worth £2.9 billion. Manchester is the ideal location for those looking to specialise in media thanks to it being home to Media City, a 200-acre development which houses the BBC and ITV studios.

Something to consider is that Manchester’s growth rate is 10% slower than our very own Birmingham’s. Therefore, it is possibly not the preferred location for young professionals who are searching for the most prosperous hub.

2. Bristol and Bath

With over 35,000 people working in tech, Bristol and Bath are another two of the UK’s booming hubs. Bristol is home to the country’s largest robotics lab BRL, and Rocketmakers, an award-winning tech design company (their clients include Microsoft and O2), is located in Bath.

Despite the average salary for tech workers in Bristol and Bath surpassing £47,000, the cost of living (£740 average rent for a 1 bed flat) is steeper than in Birmingham (£638) and Manchester (£634) – but it’s still cheaper than London!

3. Birmingham

According to recent data from, Birmingham is the best place outside of London to develop a career within the digital industry. The city has an industry growth rate of 33% and average salaries of over £43,000. In addition, Birmingham also has a lower cost of living than London and many South East Locations. It is therefore no surprise that more than 6,000 people left London last year to work in Birmingham’s tech industry.

Neil Rami, Chief Executive at the West Midlands Growth Company, has since added:

“[this data] reinforces Birmingham’s reputation as a world-class, burgeoning hub for tech and digital. The city has more incubators and accelerator programmes than any other city outside London, a dynamic, young talent pool and a host of unique, co-working spaces to support growing tech firms”

This data is likely to be boosted even more by security specialist, Intercity Technology. The IT giant plans to invest over £2 million into the Birmingham area within the next year, beginning with the construction of its flagship data centre. This should create some exciting opportunities!

From Leeds to Edinburgh to those listed above, there are so many thriving tech cities in the UK that are great alternatives to London. While Birmingham is our top choice, we encourage you to continue evaluating each location to determine which is most likely to fulfil your career ambitions.