Nicola Lucas

Scotland is the fastest growing digital economy outside London

Resent research has shown that Scotland is now the fastest growing region outside London for the number of digital enterprises.

The number of digital enterprises in Scotland increased by 8.8% between 2015 and 2016, from 7,860 to 8,555 according to the research by law firm, Nockolds.

Separate research from the Tech Nations 2017 report found Dundee generated the highest turnover growth of any major cluster – including London, Manchester, Birmingham, Edinburgh and Glasgow – in the five-year period between 2011 and 2015.

Nicola Lucas,  an Associate at Nockolds, who advises digital businesses says: “Dundee has established itself as a centre for software development, particularly gaming, including mobile app development. Its low cost base in terms of rents, together with the pool of appropriately skilled talent, make it an ideal location for start-ups, many of which are likely to be spin-off businesses.”

“A major concern is whether regional tech hubs, such as Dundee, can provide the skills and funding environment to hold onto digital businesses once they reach a certain scale, or whether these businesses will focus expansion in other regions.”

“A classic example of this is DMA Design, founded in Dundee, which developed the famous Grand Theft Auto games. The studio was eventually acquired and relocated to Edinburgh, but has since expanded into Leeds, Lincoln and London.”

She adds: “Scotland is already struggling with a digital skills gap, and Brexit could potentially exacerbate that, impeding the growth of the digital economy. Digital businesses in Scotland will be concerned about any Brexit deal which makes recruiting talent harder than it already is.”