Telco, Digital and Creative industries thrive in the North East, UK

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The North East digital and tech sectors have grown faster than any other region in the UK outside of London, according to the latest government statistics.

In terms of regional gross value added (GVA) the North East was the second fastest growing UK region for the Department for Digital, Culture, Media, and Sport (DCMS) sectors, excluding tourism and civil society, seeing an increase of 46.1% since 2010.

London topped the list with 58.0% growth.

Gross value added is the measure of the value of goods and services produced in an area, industry or sector of an economy.

Screenshot 2019-03-04 at 09.19.40
  • Source: Department for Digital, Culture, Media, and Sport (DCMS) report

The provisional DCMS Sector Economic Estimates report found between 2010 and 2017, the sector GVA in the North East grew 2.2 times faster than the GVA for the total UK economy in this region, which was 21.4%.

Despite DCMS sector GVA growth in the North East being the largest percentage increase, it is relatively small compared to other regions.

Telecoms is a large contributor to this increase, seeing an almost double in value from £1.1bn in 2010 to £2.2bn in 2017.

Elsewhere in the UK, the digital sector and creative industries contributed the most in GVA in 2017, except in the North East where digital and telecoms were the largest.

Other sectors included in the report are culture, creative Industries, sport, and gambling.

Representing a shift in society, there was growth in all regions of the digital sector between 2010 and 2017, though strongest in the North East (48.9% increase since 2010), London (46.2% increase) and Wales (41.2% increase).

The definition of the digital sector used in this release was developed by the OECD using the UN Standard Industrial Classifications (SICs). It largely includes tech and telecoms, amongst other related sectors.

While across the board growth in the North East is impressive, it is important to not attribute growth to an isolated element of digital. The OECD definition is wide-spanning, inclusive and overlapping with other sectors.

There was also growth in GVA for all regions in the creative industries, which was strongest in London (73.3% increase), followed by Scotland (59.2%) and the North East (50.0%).

The creative industries were defined in the Government’s 2001 Creative Industries Mapping Document as “those industries which have their origin in individual creativity, skill, and talent and which have a potential for wealth and job creation through the generation and exploitation of intellectual property”.

This includes advertising and marketing, design, publishing, and others.

The DCMS release estimates of the economic activity within a region, measured by Gross Value Added (GVA) for DCMS sectors (excluding Tourism and Civil Society) to enable stakeholders to evaluate the economic contribution of DCMS sectors, which are not traditional National Account sectors, and to understand how current and future policy interventions can be most effective.

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