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London could gain billions from booming digital tech sector

A new study has found that London’s booming digital tech sector could contribute billions to the capital’s economy.

London has long been known as a major finance centre, but in recent years another industry has taken root there to give the capital’s economy a considerable boost.

According to a new report by Oxford Economics for promotional body London and Partners, the sector could make a massive contribution in terms of both economic activity and jobs. Details of the study have not yet been released, with only one page of key findings having been published so far.

 

What we do know is that the report argues London’s digital technology sector currently employs more than 155,000 people. And although it is already large, it could grow by as much as 5.1 per cent each year over the next decade.

That would mean contributing as much as £12 billion worth of economic activity and as many as 46,000 new jobs by 2024. Across the capital, south-east and east of England combined, the study finds that the technology and information sectors are actually growing faster than California.

Reuters reports that it contacted a spokesperson for London and Partners, who was unable to clarify whether the forecast depended on changes to immigration law. That could well be an important point, given that a substantial amount of the tech firms and talent that are flocking to the capital are likely to come from overseas.

 

It is unclear when the whole report will be published, or even if it will see the light of day at all. The details released today were published to mark the start of London Technology Week, which begins yesterday and runs until Friday (16 to 20 June) with workshops, seminars, debates and demonstrations to promote the technology industry in the UK.

“Tech Week is a superb opportunity to hail the success of London’s tech sector, which despite only being in adolescence already makes a tremendous contribution to our economy and is outperforming our rivals around the globe,” says Mayor of London Boris Johnson.

“The tentacles of our digital army now spread to every corner of the capital and far beyond.”

 

<Top image by Matt Brown>


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