IT industry growth in the North three times London rate

The IT industry in the North of England is growing three times as fast as the industry in London, according to figures from the Office for National Statistics.

The IT industry in the North of England is growing three times as fast as the industry in London, according to figures from the Office for National Statistics.

The figures show that the IT industry in the North grew by 64.25% in terms of turnover in five years, while London's growth lagged behind at 19.55%.

The figures, analysed by IT staffing company ReThink Recruitment, also show that total turnover in the North has jumped from £4.7bn to £7.7bn, an increase of almost 65%. In London, total turnover rose from £11.2bn to £13.4bn, up by 19.5%.

IT growth in the North can be attributed to cost-effectiveness, with companies finding England's northern region a much cheaper base. Andy Lord, director of ReThink Recruitment's Manchester office, said, "It makes sense for everything: premises, car parks, staff wages and support services."

The lower cost of the North has led to new businesses establishing their offices in the region, as well as bigger London businesses establishing branches.

Salaries in the North are being held down by a continued supply of qualified staff, with demand for skilled staff not yet outstripping supply.

The region has also undergone a period of general growth in recent years, with many areas flourishing and plenty of people moving into the city centres. "This gives business the confidence that there is an abundance of qualified professionals to choose from and efficient support services," Lord said.

The figures showed the area with the lowest growth is the East of England, where the industry has shrunk by 3.2%, despite the proximity of the research and development conducted at the University of Cambridge and the constant flow of graduates. "You would expect that would attract the IT industry to the area," Lord said.

"However, the prohibitive housing costs in the area could be one explanation, and despite Cambridge's strength in physical materials development, it is lacking in creative software industries and cannot compete with the London internet media scene."

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