A new report by Deloitte – entitled London: Enabling a World Leading Digital Hub – reveals that the capital’s technology, media and telecoms (TMT) sector contributes £125 billion a year to the UK economy, amounting to 8% of GDP, but is not receiving the funding and skilled talent it needs to truly thrive.
The report surveyed businesses in London’s Tech City and found that TMT startups especially are being driven to seek funding from US venture capitalists as money is not available to them in the UK. London’s digital hub receives a mere one-tenth of the funding that the US pumps into Silicon Valley, the report reveals.
The funding gap should be filled without delay, the report recommends, and entrepreneurs and the financial community should step up to the mark to invest in these fledgling companies to help convert them into global successes.
Deloitte’s global lead for the TMT industry, Jolyon Barker, said: “We need our financial sector to support the technology sector in developing global players. As London’s Tech City attracts inward investment and promotes exports, the wider UK business community should pursue a common objective to lead globally in digital creative product development across media, online games and apps, advertising and platforms, with London as the engine.”
Skills shortages are also heavily cited by Tech City startups as a cause of restricted growth. According to Arena’s head of futures, Mark Holden, coders, UX experts and designers are in especially short supply.
An implication of the report is that IT professionals contracting as Umbrella Company Employees could find themselves being zealously headhunted if they live near the capital and have the sought-after skills.