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Edinburgh Tech Sector Outperforming UK Average, Report Suggests

Ross Kelly


Tech Sector Growth

Edinburgh boasts the highest retention rate for graduates anywhere outside of London.

Employment in Edinburgh’s technology sector is expected to outgrow the UK average over the next decade, according to research published by Knight Frank.

Knight Frank’s Future of our cities report predicts that over the next ten years the number of jobs in technology, media and telecommunications will increase by 21% – compared to an average of 6% among other UK cities.

The inaugural report looked at several themes impacting UK office markets outside of London, including Aberdeen, Glasgow, Leeds, Manchester and Newcastle.

Analysis conducted by the property consultancy firm found that tech, media and telecoms firms accounted for over one-third (34%) of office take-up in Scotland’s capital in the first three quarters of 2019. These figures show that, once again, Edinburgh is outperforming its UK counterparts, with the UK average office take-up across this period stood at 23%.

Simon Capaldi, office agency partner at Knight Frank Edinburgh, commented: “The tech sector has been growing exponentially in Edinburgh, creating a vibrant ecosystem of businesses. Between the long-established CodeBase, the recent arrival of WeWork, and some of the best academic institutions in the UK, we have a solid base on which companies can set up and grow.

“That, of course, has consequences for landlords in the city. These types of occupiers are looking for something different – not only do they want space that reflects their brand identity, they also require more flexible lease terms that allow them to grow, or even contract, through the process of becoming established.”

Capaldi added that Knight Frank expects to see more co-working space coming to Edinburgh over the next several years. Compared to other major UK cities, this is an area which remains “relatively undersupplied”, he asserted.

Additional insights from the report show that Edinburgh boasts the highest retention rate for graduates anywhere outside of London (47%).

Edinburgh’s graduate population stands at nearly 50,000, with more than half of workers (57%) in the city considered ‘skilled’. The broad range of talent residing and available in Edinburgh makes it an “ideal base” for growing technology companies, the firm said.

Darren Mansfield, partner in Knight Frank’s commercial research team, said: “The influence of the technology sector on the economic fortunes of the UK continues to grow. Since 2002, the economic output from tech industries has grown significantly, with further upward trajectory forecast for the next ten years.

“This picture of growth is mirrored in the scale of demand for office space being acquired across the UK.”

Ross Kelly

Staff Writer

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