News: Only New York and San Francisco can consider themselves more desirable destinations.
The UK is Europe’s most desirable technology hub for global tech workers.
Not only can the UK now make this boast but it can also place itself alongside New York and San Francisco as one of the world’s top three technology hubs.
This is according to a poll which found that mobile, global tech workers would prefer to relocate to London over other rival tech hubs in Europe such as Berlin and Paris.
What has made London so appealing is a combination of business and lifestyle factors. The capital scored highly in these sections according to the poll of over 800 international technology professionals.
London’s good international travel connections, cultural diversity and creative and innovative environment were highlighted as important factors for its attractiveness.
Mayor of London Boris Johnson MP said: "London is a technology powerhouse. With our competitive business environment and an unrivalled range of culture, arts and entertainment, we are able to attract some of the very best creative and entrepreneurial minds on the planet.
"Since the creation of the Tech City project six years ago, London has emerged as Europe’s fastest growing technology hub while cementing our status as a world-class destination to live and work."
Although London ranked highly across a range of metric, New York and San Francisco are still considered the most desirable global tech destinations, the ease of doing business and employment opportunities were two areas where they outscored London.
However, London outscored other hubs such as Bangalore, Ontario and Singapore when it came to these two factors.
Russ Shaw, founder of Tech London Advocates said that London has all the right ingredients to remain one of the world’s leading tech hubs. Shaw highlighted the capital’s ability to offer a financial centre akin to New York, the tech start-up culture of Silicon Valley, the dynamic entertainment industry of Los Angeles and regulatory environment of Washington DC.
Commissioned by London & Partners, the Mayor of London’s promotional company, and carried out by YouGov, the report coincides with the global launch of the Transatlantic Tech Boom campaign. The campaign is a joint initiative between London & Partners, UK Trade & Investment and is funded by the GREAT Britain campaign.
The campaign is designed to target US technology businesses that are looking to expand into London and the UK. Set to be launched on the 13th of March at South by South West, the event will showcase some of the brightest American and British figures from the UK’s tech scene.
Currently London hosts around 40% of the world’s top companies. The likes of Google, Facebook and Skype have all established developer and engineering hubs in London, while Amazon recently announced plans to create an addition 2,500 jobs in the UK.
With the election of a new Mayor of London set to take place on the 5th of May and praise for the capital streaming in, the challenge for the next Mayor will be to continue London’s rise to the top.
While the report paints an extremely positive picture of London, there are still issues that need to be overcome. A tech manifesto drawn up by Tech London Advocates and techUK highlighted barriers to growth such as a shortage of talent and in cited research stating that around 18% of Londoners have no basic digital skills.
In 2015 London’s digital firms raised £2.28 billion in investment, a 69% increase on 2014, however, access to funding is still highlighted as a challenge.
So while London may now be able to position itself alongside San Francisco and New York as a technology hub, there is still a lot of work that needs to be done.