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A growing tech-scene and less pricey than London: Here’s why you should get a tech job in Manchester

Manchester also has a reputation as a tech and innovation hub.
Manchester also has a reputation as a tech and innovation hub.   -  Copyright  Canva

By Elaine Burke

It’s known for football. It’s known for music. It’s known for its worker bee emblem symbolising its industrious past. But did you know Manchester also has a reputation as a tech and innovation hub?

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This status goes all the way back to the early days of computing and the Manchester Baby. Also known as the Small-Scale Experimental Machine, this was the first electronic stored-program computer, and it was built at the University of Manchester.

The development of this machine was key to attracting computing pioneer Alan Turing to Manchester, a statue in Sackville Gardens commemorating his significance to the city.

Manchester has also attracted forerunners in the creative industry to its surroundings.

A hub for tech businesses

In 2011, the BBC chose Manchester as the site for its northern headquarters, at a former docklands site now dubbed MediaCityUK. A decade later, the number of digital and creative companies in the area has shot up by 70 per cent, according to a report by KPMG.

Today, the city is also attracting tech investment. According to Tech Nation, Manchester bucked the trend with two consecutive years of growth in tech investment, reaching a record £532 million in funding in 2022.

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This places the cultural gem of England’s northwest ahead of many other major European cities. such as Rome and Brussels.

No surprise then that Manchester was named the UK’s number one regional tech city in 2022, and the biggest UK tech hub outside London.

Manchester’s tech scene is also the fastest-growing in the north of England, with more than 1,600 start-ups and scale-ups employing about 60,000 people there, according to Dealroom.

Some of these Manchester start-ups are pitched to be future unicorns. The likes of Be.EV, which is building charging infrastructure for electric vehicles, and high-speed broadband provider Freedom Fibre are expected to join data analytics provider Matillion in the city’s stable of companies worth at least $1 billion.

Major players

As well as its indigenous tech sector, Manchester is attracting major players to set up in the city. It was recently selected as the new UK headquarters for Siemens and, this year, scaling fintech challenger Starling Bank announced 1,000 jobs there as part of its next phase of growth.

Manchester is also home to the largest financial and professional services sector outside of London, and Big Four firm PwC announced a further 1,000 jobs at its tech hub there in 2021.

A central UK location ensures that Manchester is a well-connected city with the kind of transport links favoured by international business travellers, such as top-flight venture capitalists (VCs).

And, compared to London, a city which offers much the same in terms of a thriving, well-connected ecosystem, Manchester is a relatively low-cost place to live, work and build a business.

This has helped the city maintain a population of high-skilled workers.

A plentiful supply of talent feeds into the city from its own Manchester and Salford universities, as well as the nearby University of Liverpool. And it’s the culture that keeps them there.

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On top of all its tech hub credentials, Manchester is a cultural hotspot. From the trendy Northern Quarter and the welcoming Gay Village, through to the central neighbourhoods that still bear the hallmarks of its industrial heritage, Manchester brings together a potent blend of creativity, hard work and coolness.

Check out some of the tech roles available right now in Manchester below.

Data Science - Insights Team Lead, Peak AI

Manchester-headquartered start-up Peak AI has been scaling off the back of a $75 million Series C funding round in late 2021 led by SoftBank.

Its platform is already being used by household names such as Nike, PepsiCo and KFC. The role of Insights Team Lead in the data science organisation sits at the heart of the company, leading a team to deliver AI applications to Peak customers.

This is an opportunity for a data science professional to gain highly sought-after experience in AI, and some experience with machine learning, data mining, unstructured data analytics and natural language processing would give a candidate the edge.

Full Stack Developer, Starling Bank

Challenger bank Starling has offices in London, Southampton, Cardiff and Manchester and accepts applications from workers across the UK for hybrid and remote work opportunities.

The company is currently looking for a Full Stack Developer to join its team. You will be “truly full stack” and have experience with REST APIs, Java, React, Redux and AWS.

Technical Director, Electronic Arts

Better known as EA, Electronic Arts is a team of storytellers and technologists creating globally popular video games.

The BAFTA Award-winning Playdemic custom studio space, which was acquired by EA in 2021, is just a 15-minute train journey from central Manchester, located in the market town of Wilmslow.

This team currently needs a Technical Director to oversee the development of games such as Golf Clash, leading on technical design, DevOps and all other technical aspects.

For more Manchester tech jobs, search the Euronews Jobs Board

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