A NEW report reveals the top cities for the number of high-growth businesses outside of London as Edinburgh tops the list followed by Manchester and Leeds.

The Unlocking Growth report identifies the key to generating growth by exploring the importance of public and private sector partnerships in creating strong local technology ecosystems in which businesses can start and scale successfully. Universities, accelerator programmes and business incubators, coupled with investment sources such as angel or private equity investors.

The report from Barclays Eagle Labs and Beauhurst looks at the critical role technology ecosystems play in supporting high-growth firms and boosting local economies. Local authorities that are home to 100 or more high-growth companies have an average Gross Value Added (GVA) per person of £138,000, compared to £22,000 for those with less than 100.

Edinburgh tops the list for the number of high-growth businesses outside of London, with 621 calling the city home, 280 of which are tech firms. Glasgow also performed well, placing fifth with 444 high-growth firms, 151 of which are in tech.

In Edinburgh, investors made £940m in total equity investment in tech companies since 2011, universities have produced 83 spinout businesses commercialising university research and there is a range of business incubator and accelerator programmes. This is in addition to local government intervention in funding, for example through Invest Edinburgh, the council’s investment arm.

The Edinburgh Eagle Lab is just one of a growing network of business incubator spaces that supports 28 ecosystems across the UK, providing mentoring and networking opportunities, business support, and a regular programme of events, both in person and virtually during the pandemic.

One business that has benefitted from and contributed to the tech ecosystem in Edinburgh is ShareIn, that provides investment businesses a platform to receive investments directly from their networks. Founded by Jude Cook and Andrew Pickett, ShareIn have been residents at the CodeBase business incubator since its launch in 2014.

Cook said: “Andrew and I met because of the ecosystem, at an Edinburgh University Business School event, and subsequently shared a hot desk space in the incubator. Now we’ve grown, but collaboration within the Edinburgh ecosystem and wider remains crucial in scaling ShareIn even further, allowing consumers to invest in and fund the businesses they genuinely care about.”

Jon Hope, director of Eagle Labs, said: “Every region in the UK has the presence of at least one high-growth technology cluster. However, data from Beauhurst found that seven out of the top 10 local authorities by number of high-growth tech companies were in London. We hope that with support from networks like Eagle Labs, towns and cities throughout the country can reap the benefits that strong local tech ecosystems can provide.”