Old Street’s Silicon Roundabout is still the technology capital of the UK, according to research out today from private and commercial property estate agent Stirling Ackroyd.

Stirling Ackroyd found there are 3,228 tech firms for ever square kilometre within the EC1V postcode compared to 58 tech firms per kilometre across the rest of the capital.

Tech City Old Street
Old Street's "Silicon Roundabout" has become the beacon of the UK tech industry ©Flickr/Katchooo

The large gap may surprise some that have been following the UK tech sector.

As tech companies have moved into the Shoreditch area on the northern fringe of London's financial district, rents have surged and some startups have been forced to relocate.

But the study found that the firms around London’s Silicon Roundabout are 16 times more densely packed than Birmingham’s B3 (the ‘Silicon Canal’), 17 times more than Brighton’s BN3 district (‘Silicon Pier’), 20 times than Bristol’s BS1 (‘Silicon Gorge’) and 33 times the concentration of tech business in Glasgow’s ‘Silicon Glen’ in the G2 area. Moreover, the reality of London’s tech quarter beats the traditional reputation of the world-renowned ‘Silicon Fen’ in Cambridge 73 times over.

West End wonders

The research suggests that the EC1V postcode is packed 56 times denser than the rest of the capital.

After Silicon Roundabout in the East, W1 postcodes form a secondary ‘western’ cluster, according to the real estate company.

Stretching from Marylebone High Street (W1U), Portland Place and Regent Street (W1B), to Charlotte Street and Goodge Street (W1T) and western Soho (W1F), this more disperse cluster has a peak density of 1,214 tech businesses per square kilometre (or 62 percent less than Silicon Roundabout).

Canary Wharf

Meanwhile the E14 district centred on Canary Wharf and the Isle of Dogs has technology companies clustered at a density of 190 per square kilometre, while perhaps surprisingly the next distinct cluster is centred on Watford’s WD17 district with 168 per square kilometre. Finally, the relatively leafy Wimbledon, Hammersmith and Hounslow form a further set of emerging tech centres in London’s suburbs, though with a density of only around 1/30th of the Silicon Roundabout.

Stirling Ackroyd believes there are 39,614 tech businesses across inner London (comprising N, E, SE, SW, W, NW, WC & EC districts). East Central (EC) London alone is home to 6,792.

Andrew Bridges, managing director of Stirling Ackroyd, said: “At the bright heart of Britain’s technology industry, there’s an entrepreneurial startup spirit to the Old Street area that’s creating its own gravitational force. Social media is the Bloomberg of the 21st century, HTML is our new lingua franca, and Shoreditch is fast becoming the Canary Wharf of the 2020s."

Bridges said that tech companies tend to depend on a small number of highly skilled individuals.

“They rarely need enormous offices,” he said. “But they absolutely depend on the warp-speed exchange of ideas. You might think a cutting edge tech start up would depend more on remote working – but the model for these disruptive businesses relies on a small number of talented individuals working and living near likeminded people.”