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November 24, 2020

Tech is now Bristol’s fastest-growing industry

By Robert Scammell

Bristol’s thriving tech scene has overtaken engineering to become the leading industry in the city, according to new data.

There are currently 1,965 IT-related job openings in Bristol, with salaries for tech jobs higher than average across the UK city.

Research by UK entrepreneur network Tech Nation and job search engine Adzuna shows that the average IT salary in Bristol is £51,685 – over £15,000 more than the average salary for all roles across the city.

High demand for tech workers follows six years of strong investment in Bristol tech companies, which now number 430.

Since 2014, startups located in the south-west city have raised a collective $1.07bn in venture capital.

These include semiconductor company Graphcore, haptic technology firm Ultraleap and cybersecurity startup Immersive Labs.

The city is also home to vertical farming startup LettUs Grow and green energy firm Ovo Energy, the latter which reached unicorn status last year.

Tech Nation and Adzuna attribute part of Bristol’s tech industry success to its connections with the University of Bristol.

A total of 130 companies have been spun out of the university, which ranks it in the top 10 universities for producing companies in the UK.

One of these is biotech Ziylo, which uses tech to treat diabetes. It was acquired by Novo Nordisk in 2018 for £623m.

In addition to startups, larger companies such as Amazon, Oracle and BT have offices based in Bristol. These bigger players, along with startups, employ over 8,000 people across the city.

When it comes to jobs, software developers are the most in-demand, with 367 jobs currently open. They command an average salary of £58,070 in Bristol.

The data reflects how tech companies are gradually becoming less concentrated in London – a trend that appears set to continue as the pandemic results in fewer people being tied to a physical office.

“Bristol represents a special part of the UK’s tech industry thanks to its strong robotics and microelectronics background,” said Dr George Windsor, head of insights at Tech Nation.

“This new data demonstrates how important tech is to the city and wider south-west region in providing jobs and higher-than-average salaries.”

Nigel Toon, CEO at Graphcore said: “Entrepreneurship, particularly in technology, is flourishing in Bristol. And it’s not just early-stage companies that call this city home; a growing number of businesses are running multi-national, multi-billion dollar operations out of Bristol.

“That means an ever-increasing talent base that will, in turn, create the next generation of Bristol-based success stories.”


Read more: Manchester tech investment soars to $687.6m, second to London