Written by:
Iain Brook

Why Bristol beats London for tech talent

Today’s top tech talent is starting to wake up to the fact that the streets of London are not the only ones in the country paved in golden opportunities. In fact, there are a fair few UK cities where you can land a quality tech role with an excellent salary. And you can do so while bypassing the crippling housing and living costs of our nation’s capital, too.

South west is best

Bristol, in particular, is starting to outshine London like a high-quality substitution in the weekly Tesco food shop – a surprising yet welcome alternative. Looking for work in the West Country might seem like a left-field option, but make no mistake – Bristol has become a digital hub and one of the UK’s key growth areas for tech.

Not only have global giants like Amazon and Hewlett Packard set up shop in Bristol offices, but slick, new generation firms such as green energy company Ecotricity and AI experts Adarga have found the space and support to make their mark. The city has an entrepreneurial spirit with a strong network of collaborative spaces and local funding opportunities – fertile ground for the fledgling business to take root. As a result, the variety and number of jobs for those working in tech has boomed.

Earlier this year, the launch of Tech City’s Tech Nation 2017 report – highlighting the growth of tech and digital across the UK – proved the South West does it best when it identified Bristol and Bath as two of the best places to live and work if you are or want to be employed in tech. Amongst the many factors serving to woo hard-to-get talent are the 35,924 digital jobs in the area, the 17% growth rate in firms and the £8.1bn digital tech turnover. Plus, salaries remain healthy with the average digital tech worker earning £47,063 – a rise of nearly 10% in just five years.

Our senior consultant, Iain Brook, noted: “Up until recently, London has been heralded as the only place in the UK to be if you want to work at the forefront of technology. However, in the last three years, the South West has become an increasingly attractive place for enthusiastic technologists. Bristol boasts a huge range of exciting start-ups and established companies engaged in exciting [future-shaping] projects.”

Not only are talented techies spoiled for choice in Bristol, the future’s looking bright too – the report estimates a tech sector growth potential of 88%.

Bristol life is sweet

As if a bright and burgeoning tech job market isn’t enough, Bristol was named as the best place to live in Britain, according to the Sunday Times Best Places to Live Guide 2017. It also rated highly for joie de vivre in the aforementioned Tech Nation report with a significant 92% of local startups in Bristol and Bath rating the quality of life as good, compared to a pretty poor show from Londoners at 59%.

In fact, almost 100,000 Londoners moved out of the capital last year, according to The Guardian, citing the rising cost of living, accommodation and lack of welcoming folk as some of the key reasons for jumping ship. The scene is reminiscent of the current situation in Silicon Valley where, according to Business Insider, firms are looking further afield to recruit young talent who are unable to afford the astronomical rent of the local area. Even if the average advertised digital salary of the capital glitters at £61,803, life in Bristol often results in a higher disposable income – something that millennials with their penchant for a good work/life balance are likely to favour.

If you needed any more convincing to try Bristol on for size, National Geographic named the city as one of only 18 worldwide destinations to make their Cool List for 2018. Lauded for its left-field creativity, indie spirit and offbeat vibes, Bristol is fast becoming the destination of choice for those that march to a different drumbeat.

If you’re intrigued by the idea of working in one of the coolest places in the world and fancy flexing your skills off that beaten London path, contact Revoco today to find out how we can help.


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