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Leeds firmly on London digital map after visit to top job fair


The ever-growing number of high quality tech vacancies, competitive salaries and an accessible housing market are just some of the reasons why London-based digital graduates and professionals are now keen to advance their careers in Leeds.

This was the powerful message brought back by a Leeds delegation after attending Silicon Milk Roundabout, London’s premier tech industry job fair.

And it is not only job seekers who are interested in moving North.  Because according to Herd founder Amy De-Balsi, who led the Leeds Tech team at the two-day event on Brick Lane, there are also digital companies giving serious consideration to switching their operations to Yorkshire.

Supported by Leeds City Council and Leeds BID, the Leeds representatives had a dedicated space at Silicon Milk Roundabout which was attended by more than 3,000 pre-registered candidates and 175 digital and tech companies.

As well as experts on all aspects of life in the city including its universities, regeneration plans and cultural attractions, the Leeds Tech Zone boasted the added attraction of local graffiti artist Bretski who created a selection of Leeds-themed exhibits.

Ms De-Balsi said the decision to travel to the capital with positive stories about the Leeds digital and tech sector – comprising 1,350 companies and more than 10,000 employees – had already paid dividends.

“We returned with more than 50 CVs from people actively seeking their next role,” Amy said.

“There were also many others who took away information to pass to friends who had expressed an interest in relocating to Leeds.

“And we spoke to two growing digital companies with plans to open offices in London but, upon reflection, now regard Leeds as a more attractive option.”

Amy, who organised the inaugural Leeds Digital Job in February, said several useful pieces of industry intelligence had also been gained from the trip.

“It is perfectly clear that major coding schools such as General Assembly are producing graduates happy to come to Leeds,” she said.

“We just need to make them better informed about the many opportunities that exist in the city including more than 640 tech job vacancies.  And the same can be said for global digital talent already established in London but looking for their next move.

“Our messages about the quality of life in Leeds, the competitive salaries and, crucially, housing prices in comparison to London had real resonance with the people we met.

“Rather than run our own job fair in London, the Leeds Digital Job’s Board’s decision to hitch our wagon to Silicon Milk Roundabout proved to be inspired.

“London can expect to hear much more about the Leeds digital revolution in the time ahead.”

Herd founder Amy De-Balsi, right, selling the virtues of the Leeds digital sector at Silicon Milk Roundabout

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