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13 Jun 2017

Technology firms are increasingly looking to the North’s leading FDI destination and the UK’s largest City Region outside of London to support their expansion plans.

This is the message attendees at London Tech Week 2017 (12-16 June) will be receiving when Leeds City Region Enterprise Partnership (the LEP) attends the international event in order to highlight the region’s strong technology capabilities and recent investment successes within the sector.

Over the last 12 months the growth and expansion of global brands such as Perform Group, Sky and Sky Betting & Gaming, which have collectively created in excess of 600 jobs in the region and shone a spotlight on the region’s capabilities. Alongside these expansions, the City Region has also attracted the American owned digital marketing agency Fractl, which launched its first international office in Leeds last August.

Other businesses which have selected the region to support their expansion include “unified communications” firm Xalient, selected Leeds as the location for its first office outside London; digital engineering company Caldero and growing FinTech firm Folk2Folk. These investments have all been helped by the Leeds City Region Enterprise Partnership’s trade and investment team, which provided business case support and advice on properties and talent.

Momentum is fast increasing and the region is widely recognised as a leading location for a sector which contributes over £6.6bn to the City Region’s economy and employs more than 102,000 people. The LEP will be showing how potential investors are recognising the winning combination of the right talent, right attitude and track record of success which exists in Leeds City Region.

Megan Harrison, Director at Fractl, said, "We're thrilled to have launched Fractl here in Leeds, and we’re poised to extend its success this side of the pond! Fractl is a data-driven content marketing agency, founded in 2012 in Florida.

“Over the last four years, Fractl's fusion of data journalism and digital PR generated significant returns for clients including increased organic traffic, press mentions and brand awareness - leading to significant business growth.

“As a result, in 2016 we decided to launch the first international branch in Leeds due to its central position within the country, the ready and sustainable pipeline of creative talent, and the city's entrepreneurial spirit. We’re lucky to work in a cosmopolitan city so close to areas of outstanding natural beauty.”

Kersten England Chief Executive of Bradford MDC and Leeds City Region Enterprise Partnership lead Chief Executive for Business, Innovation and Growth concluded: “The success of our world class businesses and leading developments such as the Digital Health Enterprise Zone in Bradford is having a significant impact on raising the profile of our dynamic digital ecosystem, which accounts for almost a quarter of the North’s fastest growing technology businesses. We are not resting on our laurels, our industries are evolving and we are embracing disruptive digital technologies and looking to once again capitalise on the ‘fourth industrial revolution’.

“In the 18th and 19th Century our region led the first industrial revolution and two centuries later we are once again seeing technology increase productivity and drive growth. I was delighted to see last month’s EY Attractiveness Survey highlight the strength of the region as a location for foreign direct investment and the role which our fantastic education institutions play in producing talent that attracts businesses.”