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Thursday 19th October 2017
It’s no secret that The North is becoming increasingly attractive for technology professionals across the UK. Where start-ups and tech talent would have historically sought after a job or location in London, professionals are now seeing the endless benefits of being located in a Northern location such as Leeds or Manchester.

We’ve talked a lot in previous blogs about Leeds and the thriving digital scene that’s present there at the moment. Another northern tech cluster, who’s digital innovation and success in recent years hasn’t gone unnoticed, is Manchester.

During 2014/2015 over 4,000 people left London to move to Manchester. 'Manchester Digital' set up their own initiative #RelocateMCR. Similar to Stuart Clarke's London to Leeds project, #RelocateMCR aims to show case all the things that make working in tech industry, in Manchester great. 

So what makes working in Tech in Manchester so great?

The tech scene: Manchester has established itself as one of the top five tech clusters in the UK, with the second highest GVA growth in the sector. It was also recently awarded £10 million as Innovate UK’s IoT city demonstrator (in partnership with Cisco).

Manchester has developed key specialist areas in technology from Edtech, e-commerce, Adtech to digital entertainment. With the city also home to an array of house hold names such as, AutoTrader, BBC, Sainsbury’s, ThoughtWorks, Missguided, Pretty Little Thing,, to name but a few.

It’s a really exciting time to work in digital in Manchester. The sector is full of activity with over 62,653 digital tech economy jobs and employment in the cities sector growing year on year.

The universities ( Manchester Met and University of Manchester) have attracted big tech names such as LateRooms and AutoTrader. GP Bullhorn has also revealed that 28% of the top 50 fastest growing digital tech companies in the North are in Manchester.

Digital hotspots in the city such as MediaCityUK (home to the BBC and Granada TV) has been a major magnet for tech talent. As well as 'Manchester Science Partnerships' central campus which has attracted over 170 companies in health tech/ biotech/ ICT/ digital and home grown start-ups.

Vibrant Start-up scene: Did you know that between 2011- 2015 over 898 start-ups were birthed in Manchester? When asked 'why Manchester?' Manchester based start-ups have highlighted the growth potential in the city as a key factor in choosing it for base (85%) as well as other factors including strength in the digital economy in Manchester (68%), overall quality of life (69%) and the lower business costs.

Quality of living: Manchester was recently voted the most liveable city in the UK for the 2nd year running in The Economist Intelligence Unit's Global Liveability survey. Manchester Digital carried out a survey on 300 professionals working in Manchester’s tech sector, 1 in 5 of whom had relocated from London. The survey asked about their feelings towards working in Manchester rather than other tech clusters. Results showed that residents of Manchester found the city to be economical, friendly with a lot of opportunities.

ONS has revealed that Manchester has been rated 7.36 out of 10 in terms of life satisfaction in the city.

Also 4 in 5 people surveyed stated that they would recommend working in Manchester to a friend and 66% think that Manchester is a good place to set up a business. 77% see Manchester as a digital hub and 63% appreciate the range of networking events on offer in the city.

Salary prospects: While salaries in London are marginally higher, salaries in Manchester when put with the general lower cost of living, means that tech professionals have more disposable income then those of their southern counterparts. The average salary for a tech professional in Manchester at the moment is in the region of £47,000 (the average digital salary in Manchester is currently £47,349) !

Digital community: We’ve mentioned about the excitement surrounding tech in Manchester and the digital community have been key in creating this. What’s great about digital in Manchester is the fact that the community of workers are so sociable. Pretty much every day there is a different event taking place talking about an aspect of technology, giving people who work in digital in the city a chance to meet and engage with other people in their industry. With organisations such as Manchester Digital, Northern User Experience (NUX) and TechNorth organising meet ups regularly in the city. Find more info here.

We opened our first office in Manchester in January 2017, we’ve worked with clients and candidates in Manchester for a number of years but since we’ve been in the city, we can vouch for the buzz surrounding the digital sector and just how many people are willing to relocate to Manchester for this reason.

We've hosted two of our Tech//Connect events in Manchester and will be hosting more in the new year covering a range of topics from DevOps, app development, Business Analysis and more. If you're interested in attending future events please register your interest here. 

Check out footage from our Tech//Connect event 'Cross Platform VS Native' in Manchester last month below...

Are you working in the tech sector in Manchester? What do you like about it? Tweet us @AmsourceTech.

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