Amazon recognises Manchester’s thriving digital industry

Written by Hannah Ward: Managing director.
· 4 minute read

This week, Amazon officially opened its first UK corporate office outside of London, with plans to recruit 600 employees, many of whom will be ‘tech’ experts. 

On the decision to open their Manchester office, Amazon’s UK Country Manager Doug Gurr explained: “Manchester offers an incredible talent pool, a thriving hub of fast-growing UK tech start-ups and is a centre of academic and intellectual excellence. We are already actively hiring from all a range of skillsets for our new Manchester office, so if you’ve always wanted to build the future, come build it with us.”

Manchester is leading the way in digital 

Given Manchester’s established reputation as a tech and digital leader, it’s no surprise that Amazon have chosen the city as a location. 250 years on from when Manchester was the birth place of the industrial revolution, it is now leading the way as one of Europe’s leading hubs of digital marketing and technology.

In 2018, the digital tech industry in the North West turned over £4.98 billion, and Manchester boasts the largest number of digital workers in the UK outside of London. These digital workers are split across the regions many digital marketing agencies, as well as in-house roles; Manchester has become a hub for fashion brands such as Pretty Little Thing, Boohoo and JD Williams who employ large numbers of in-house digital marketers covering SEO, PPC and Social Media. 

And it’s not just Amazon who has been drawn out of London and into Manchester: the likes of GCHQ, Moonpig and The Hut Group all preceded Amazon in their moves to Manchester, enticed by lower rents and the large pool of digital talent.

Why choose Manchester for your Digital Marketing?

In 2019, Datacentreplus found that there were 97 Digital Marketing and Full Service agencies in Manchester. Datacentreplus used their findings to create the Agency Tram Map, a ‘tube map’ which locates agencies according to their specialism- “digital marketing”, “web design and development”, “brand, comms and creative”, etc.

The full map can be seen here.

Within these 97 digital marketing and full service agencies is a wealth of digital marketing talent; people trained in SEO, PPC, Content Marketing, Social Media, and Web Development. For any business looking for digital support, Manchester is an obvious starting point for up-to-date expertise, a variety of skill sets all under one roof, and often at a lower cost than London-based agencies. 

Home-grown digital marketing talent

Manchester boasts three internationally ranked universities, and is ideally placed to attract graduate and post-graduate talent from other northern cities like Liverpool, Leeds and Sheffield, which provides a steady flow of talent into the city. 

Organisations such as Manchester Digital also work to bridge the digital skills gap, supporting the local education system to produce the next generation of digital talent. Their Futures Digital programme uses industry support to encourage the young people of Greater Manchester to pursue tech careers, and their Her Digital inspires and empowers more young women to join the digital and tech industries.

Manchester Mayor Adam Burnham has recently held two summits to stake out the city’s claims to the the UK’s first tech leader, stating: “I want Greater Manchester to be a digital city with a difference – one with a bold digital economy which actively encourages businesses to invest and grow, and also one where technology is used to deliver positive change, from connecting young people with opportunities, to tackling social problems such as homelessness. This bold vision places the needs of people firmly at the heart of technological innovation. We’re already ahead of the game on this. Right here in Greater Manchester we are on the digital frontier with some of the most cutting-edge tech firms in the world.  This gives us a remarkable opportunity to take that expertise and innovation, and work with local people to create a smart digital future which has a unique Greater Manchester stamp.”

What is clear is that students, businesses and investors alike are attracted to the all-round package offered by Manchester and it’s digital industry.