Historic tech city with £122 million digital tech turnover

£122 mDigital tech business turnover (2017)
£85 kDigital tech turnover by employee (2017)
£161 mGVA
1,444Jobs in digital tech sector 
6,529Digital tech jobs 


With both sea and moorland within easy reach, quality of life is high for digital tech businesses based in Plymouth. In fact, many are formed as Community Interest Companies (CICs), reflecting Plymouth’s history of support for social enterprise.

  • City College Plymouth, which has 12,533 students, has recently developed a £13 million Regional Centre of Excellence for STEM, providing new state-of-the-art facilities, aiming to be the leading provider of innovative and technical education in the South West. The Centre was developed with the input of over 200 employers and will give City College students the opportunity to work across traditional subject boundaries, developing transferable skills which will give them the edge in a competitive job market.
  • A landmark regeneration project is taking shape in Devonport, Plymouth’s docklands. Once complete, the £7 million Market Hall will be a hub for digital businesses as well as community and arts groups. The project is led by local social enterprise the Real Ideas Organisation (RIO), and will also work to increase the visibility of the sector and to attract and retain talent.
  • A marine business technology centre called Oceansgate opens in 2018 on a 35-hectare site on the Devonport Dockyard, one of the largest naval dockyards in Europe.  It is the first Enterprise Zone in the country to bring together marine-based businesses and create a world-class hub for marine technology. The centre will provide opportunities for research, innovation and production in a collaborative environment, to support business growth.

Samantha Lavender

Managing Director, Pixalytics

About Pixalytics
Pixalytics is an independent company of trusted Earth observation experts, combining cutting edge scientific knowledge with satellite and airborne data to provide answers to questions about our planet’s resources and behaviour.

Why Plymouth?
We’re based in Plymouth – Britain’s Ocean City – sandwiched between the natural harbour of Plymouth Sound and the green spaces of Dartmoor. The city has a vibrant and thriving marine and technology community, with our own base being the Plymouth Science Park.

National & International focus
We’re a small company who work nationally, and internationally, and technology is crucial to our operations. From cloud computing to video-conferencing and messaging apps, we use technology to both undertake our activities and communicate both internally and externally.

Founded: 2012

Russ Lidstone

CEO, The Moment

About The Moment
An award-winning film, interactive and immersive agency that engages B2B and B2C audiences. Advanced capability in brand storytelling, learning design, VR and AR, with embedded teams in several client organisations. The Moment is part of The Creative Engagement Group, a group of communications companies united by the philosophy and methodology ‘Create Unforgettable’, an approach focused on creating memorable experiences and content.

Why Plymouth?
The Moment has been based in Plymouth for over 25 years, having been originally part of Twofour. We have over 50 people working in the Plymouth studio, taking advantage of the incredible talent coming out of local universities and ability to offer our workforce a great work life balance in a beautiful area of the country, with economic benefits too.

National & International focus
From Plymouth, our team works with international clients across a range of sectors, from healthcare to maritime, from tech to media. Key clients include GSK, HSBC, BBC, Kenwood, Nissan, The Football Association and Carnival Corporation. Our team works closely with other offices in Manchester, London and Philadelphia. The Creative Engagement Group was acquired last year by Huntsworth PLC.

Founded: 2001

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Plymouth Web

Community perceptions survey findings

The Tech Nation 2018 Survey was conducted between January 2018 and February 2018, in partnership with Streetbees. This year’s survey received the largest response yet from members of the UK tech community. In a total of 3,428 submissions, people told us about the opportunities and challenges their local ecosystems face, and the digital tech leaders they admire. The majority of respondents (33%) were founders and CEOs.

What Plymouth startups say is a strength

1Helpful tech community
2Appealing area
3Proximity of a university

What Plymouth startups say is a challenge

1Bad transport links
2Access to talent
3Remote area

Who Plymouth startups say is influential

Paul Bird

CEO, Elixel

About you
Over 5 years ago, with three of my uni friends, I founded Elixel – an app development agency. My passion for creating opportunities and exposing talent led to the birth of Digital Plymouth, co-founded by five Plymouth tech companies, to do just that.

Unique to Plymouth?
We have previously seen businesses relocate to Plymouth due to the beautiful location and low overhead costs. This combined with a solid infrastructure of universities and colleges creating good opportunities to learn tech and creative skills has led to an increase in digital talent particularly in Data, Cyber and immersive technologies.

Strengths & Challenges
We should do more to encourage more businesses to influence government policies, inspire the next generation through education, and to help highlight key industry skills needed. We should also invite international startup programs into Plymouth, to help tech startups get investment and grow, while continuing to promote nationally how awesome Plymouth is, and showcase inspiring stories that will entice talent and businesses.

Tech Nation 2018 is now open!

Great news. All data featured in the 2018 Tech Nation Report is available online for non-commercial use by third parties.  The data can be accessed through the platform. If you use the data, please let us know. We would love to showcase your work.

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