Over the course of recent months, Whitecap Consulting has been undertaking an analysis of the tech ecosystem in Milton Keynes in order to evaluate the scale of growth and emerging opportunities across the city.

The research has been supported and co-funded by a number of organisations including The Open University, Santander, Milton Keynes City Council, Milton Keynes College, South Central Institute of Technology, University of Buckingham, Aiimi and Protospace.

The project involved detailed desk research including a data-based analysis of the Milton Keynes tech ecosystem, comparisons with UK top tech cities, and qualitative interviews with a broad range of 41 key stakeholders from across Milton Keynes and the surrounding regions.

The report confirms that Milton Keynes has a productive and resilient economy, with a GVA of approximately £14.7bn for 2022, along with a strong and thriving tech sector that demonstrates pockets of exciting innovation. Milton Keynes has an estimated tech workforce of 45k, c.2400 tech related enterprises and a tech GVA valued at c.£3.4bn for 2022. This is higher than some of the UK’s largest cities such as Birmingham, Leeds and Manchester which have an estimated tech GVA of £2.8bn, £2.3bn and £3.3bn respectively.

Additional key findings identified in the report include:
  • The city has a unique reputation for being a testbed location for new technologies.
  • Milton Keynes has an extremely high startup activity, with an opportunity to develop more support for scaleups.
  • There is an opportunity for the tech ecosystem in Milton Keynes to become more connected and cohesive – including through the creation of an innovation /technology hub.
  • Milton Keynes has high-quality education providers both within the city and in surrounding regions, offering a potential strong supply of talent. However, there is an opportunity to invest in improving the perception of Milton Keynes.
  • Milton Keynes has an advantageous geographical position, a good standard of living, unique infrastructure and exceptional 5G connectivity.

The report details six recommendations for the consideration of the wider Milton Keynes tech ecosystem as well as potential next steps that may be required to move these recommendations forward.

Lal Tawney, Director at Whitecap Consulting said:

“Having arrived in Milton Keynes over 30 years ago, I’ve had the pleasure of living in a growing city that is different by design – Milton Keynes has innovation embedded within its DNA.  It’s been a pleasure to have developed this Tech Ecosystem report with our sponsors and partners – we’ve confirmed the city has huge potential, as one of the fastest growing cities in the UK, to continue to develop its tech ecosystem for the benefit of the city and surrounding regions. Specifically, there is desire and need for the tech ecosystem to become more connected in order to drive greater value, both economic and social, for Milton Keynes.”