The internet is an integral part of our daily lives, providing vital products and services, but most of us probably don’t realise just how much it contributes to our economy.
In fact, the internet sector accounts for almost 400,000 jobs, 80,000 businesses, and £45bn in Gross Value Added to the UK’s GDP.
New research released today by the Internet Association shows how a vibrant internet economy is contributing to communities up and down the country. Despite common perceptions that the internet sector is concentrated in London and the South East, the data show a very different story.
Take Pontypridd in Wales, which our research finds has the highest concentration of internet businesses in the UK, accounting for 13.4% of all local companies.
This is in part driven by a strong local ecosystem. The Centre of Excellence in Mobile and Emerging Technologies at the University of South Wales supports small businesses through access to funded research and development and the local 5 to 9 Club provides workshops on entrepreneurship. That focus on creating a thriving digital environment has helped local start-ups like Bring-it, a food delivery app, succeed.
But while our research shows encouraging signs of the internet sector growing strongly in areas outside London and the South East, there is still room for improvement.