Jobs in digital tech up 26% from
2014 to 2017

£118 mDigital tech business turnover (2017)
£78 kDigital tech turnover by employee (2017)
£157 mGVA 
1,506Jobs in digital tech 
7117Digital tech jobs 


Although its history is in shipbuilding and coal mining, Sunderland is steaming towards a digital tech future. The city’s software scene has its roots in the 1990s, but growth has accelerated rapidly since the establishment of Sunderland Software City in 2009.

  • Sunderland Software City will be rolling out a region-wide Low Power Wide Area Network (LPWAN) – one of just three such testbeds in the country, designed to support the trial and adoption of mass IoT use cases. Used in everything from remote healthcare and wellness monitoring, to improving efficiency in the manufacturing sector, these connected technologies will enable regions to better meet local business challenges and drive economic growth.
  • Tombola, the UK’s largest online bingo provider, is opening a new, £6 million Sunderland HQ. The company aims to use the new building to attract top talent and double its tech team by 2020.
  • The Digital Catapult North East and Tees Valley continues to help SMEs connect with corporates in order to drive open innovation, by educating traditionally non-digital companies on the value of emerging technologies. Successful challenges have already been run with the AkzoNobel, Barclays and Nissan, tasking tech companies with the creation of game-changing innovations.

Tom Beardsmore

CEO, Coatsink

About Coatsink
Driven by a passion for creating unique and cerebral video games, Coatsink is responsible for titles such titles as Shu, Esper, Esper 2, A Night Sky and 2017’s Gear VR “gem” Augmented Empire.

Why Sunderland?
The Software Centre in Sunderland is the perfect place for Coatsink. Based in the North East, we have access to the fantastic graduates from the local universities while the adjacent city centre is affordable and contains everything we need.

National & International focus
Coatsink work with various domestic and international partners, these include Oculus and Double Fine (California), Raw Fury (Stockholm), Boneloaf (Sheffield) and Q Games (Tokyo) as well as many others. Coatsink also have a close connection with the local universities and colleges, where we provide mentoring and tutoring, and recruit through the respective internship schemes.

Founded: 2011

Mark Edmondson

CEO & President, Inflo Software

About Inflo Software
Inflo is a next-generation accountancy software that offers firms of all sizes access to innovative and emerging technology. It uses data to transform accountants into trusted business advisors.

Why Sunderland?
The North East is not only renowned in the accountancy world as the birthplace of Sage, but its burgeoning tech scene and the steady stream of talent that comes out of the region’s universities makes it the perfect base to launch Inflo around the world.

National & International focus
Inflo has been embraced by accounting firms around the world, and we have satellite offices in the US as well as our Sunderland HQ. This allows us to engage with regulators across the globe and spearhead the global auditing revolution.

Founded: 2015

Popular meetups in Sunderland

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 Sunderland startups say is a strength

1Helpful tech community
2Access to resources
3Proximity of a university

What Sunderland startups say is a challenge

1Access to talent
2Access to funding
3Remote area

Who Sunderland startups say is influential

David Dunn

CEO, Sunderland Software City

About you
I joined Sunderland Software City when it first started in 2008 because I truly believed there was something special about the tech sector in the city and the wider North East.  We still do now what we did then – listen to what businesses want and support them to achieve it.

Unique to Sunderland?
Sunderland has a tech community that works closely together, where established businesses support new and developing ones.  It is this peer-to-peer support through informal networks that makes Sunderland a great place to run a tech business.

Strengths & Challenges
Sunderland has a strong manufacturing base and supporting these companies to be digital innovation pioneers has the mutual benefit, of helping manufacturing efficiency, and exposing the city’s digital companies to real life problems, which if they can solve them, will make them leading industry 4.0 suppliers.

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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