Newspaper article The Journal (Newcastle, England)

Report Shows Sustained Digital Industry Growth; TECH

Newspaper article The Journal (Newcastle, England)

Report Shows Sustained Digital Industry Growth; TECH

Article excerpt

Byline: ROBERT GIBSON robert.gibson@ncjmedia.co.uk

THE most comprehensive analysis of the UK's digital tech economy has reaffirmed the staggering growth of the sector in the North East.

Produced annually, the Tech Nation report is compiled by the government-backed Tech City UK and innovation charity Nesta in partnership with core data partner, GrowthIntel.

Dividing the country into 27 distinct clusters, it pulls together information gleaned from a wide range of sources, including ONS figures and feedback from more than 2,000 respondents from digital businesses.

The 2016 report found: | 22,237 people are employed in digital industries in the Newcastle and Durham cluster, while 3,675 are employed in Sunderland; | The average salary in the sector in each area is PS44,068 and PS38,999 respectively; | Overall digital turnover grew 29% in Newcastle and Durham between 2010-14 and 44% in Sunderland during the same period; | GVA growth 35% and 29% respectively; and employment growth between 2011-14 was 5% and 44% respectively.

In Newcastle and Durham, the key digital sectors were deemed to be social networks, data management and analytics, e-commerce, and gaming, while key cluster benefits included access to local networks, access to commercial property and access to graduate level talent.

Sunderland's key sectors were considered to be telecommunications and networking, gaming hardware, devices and open source hardware, and app and software development.

Overall, Tech Nation 2016 found that digital accounted for 1.56m jobs across the UK, generating GVA of PS87m and combined annual turnover of PS161m.

Herb Kim, executive chairman of Tech North, said: "Last year's Tech Nation report was a truly groundbreaking study for the UK. Among other things it gave us an unprecedented insight into the growing economic importance of the North's digital businesses.

"Tech Nation 2016 builds on the success of the original report and demonstrates the extraordinary growth rate of our digital tech industry, as well as its profound influence on non-digital industries. …

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