NEW research reveals that Southampton has one of the fastest growing tech sectors in Europe.

A new report by estate advisors CBRE – EMEA Tech Cities: Opportunities in Technology Hotspots – ranks Southampton at number five in the ‘Super Cluster’ category.

The report provides a framework for occupiers and investors to assess the characteristics of technology clusters in economic, leasing and employment terms at regional and city level.

The Super Cluster category focuses on medium-sized businesses of between 20 to 70,000 tech employees.

Between 2010-16 hi-tech employee numbers grew 25 per cent, ranking Southampton individually fifth out of the 23 cities covered in the report. A particular focus on ‘knowledge-intensive’ employment over the same period also saw a greater increase, of 50 per cent, putting Southampton in the top three cities.

James Brounger, CBRE’s south central regional manager, said: “Coming fifth in the Super Cluster category places Southampton ahead of both Cambridge and Bristol, which is exciting to see as high-tech employment continues to grow above the UK national average.

“Most of the high-ranking locations in these categories are either established tech locations, such as the Thames Valley in the UK; places where tech has grown to support other activities, such as Vienna and smaller regional centres supported by a strong tech-university presence such as Basel.”

London tops the Scale Cluster category, which covered capital cities and business centres with more than 70,000 people in tech employment.

The capital’s top position in this ranking is partly due to its ability to attract young millennial talent. Its overall employment in the ICT sector has grown by 20 per cent since 2008, with its proportion of ICT employment at almost two and a half times the EU average.

Richard Holberton, Head of EMEA occupier research at CBRE, added: “Labour is not only fundamental to the success of the technology sector, it also has distinctive characteristics including a high incidence of contract employment, greater transparency of rewards and use of online channels both for job-checking and brand development.

“In addition, talent perspectives are changing, with millennial workers accustomed to taking risks and often not aspiring to work for large brands. Start-ups, where they can take ownership of a product or activity is where they turn to for advancement. Analysis of the characteristics of tech labour markets should be integral to location decisions, and many smaller but fast-growing cities in the EMEA region offer favourable possibilities.”


1. Thames Valley

2. Zurich

3. M3 Corridor

4. Prague

5. Southampton

6. Bristol

7. Rotterdam

8. Cambridge

9. Cologne

10. Vienna