Lincolnshire, famous for the manufacture of the tank and leading in the production of food and drink, is growing an emerging industry – a digital sector currently worth £992million.
In 2016, our first Digital Landscape Survey found that nearly 2000 ‘digital’ businesses were based in Lincolnshire, selling a range of digital products and services including telecommunications, digital marketing, software and app development, gaming products, healthcare, education and aerospace technology. 2019's report shows that this figure has dramatically increased, hitting 2,394 in just three years.
In 2016, over 16,000 Lincolnshire residents were employed in a digital role, with 7,045 of these jobs coming from the digital sector. That figure has since risen to 8,250, a 17% increase since 2016. This growth is the result of an increase in computer programming, computer consultancy, data processing and telecommunications activities across the county. An important growing sub-sector is the production of communications equipment, and the manufacture of electrical components remains a key activity, with this sector employing three times the national average. Other digital roles are not specifically with ‘digital businesses’ (e.g. farming, manufacturing and tourism), which shows just how diverse digital roles can be, across all industries. Having a scope for digital jobs in so many industries shows just how important it is to have training and digital upskilling available for businesses in Lincolnshire.
Our previous Digital Landscape Report showed that employment in the digital tech sector was highly concentrated in the Greater Lincoln area and along the A1 corridor to the south-west of Lincolnshire. At the time, the area around Doddington Road and Skellingthorpe Road in Lincoln had the highest concentration of digital tech sector employment in the county. In neighbouring North Hykeham, there were (and are) high levels of employment in the manufacture of electronic components, publishing, computer programming and consultancy, IT and computer services, and telecoms. However, in the past three years, Market Deeping has taken over as Lincolnshire's primary digital hub, thanks to the development of the Eventus business centre, which is now home to multiple digital and tech businesses. Mosaic, a new coworking space for digital businesses, also opened in Lincoln city centre in November 2019.
With the digital sector continuing to be one of the fastest-growing sectors in Lincolnshire, predictions for the next few years include further collaboration between digital businesses in the county, further assistance helping businesses to scale up, as well as greater recognition of the sector's role in the redrafting of the current Local Industrial Strategy.
For a more thorough breakdown of Lincolnshire's digital sector, download our Digital Landscape Report (2019) below.