Our partnership with Leeds Digital Festival 2020

During this autumn’s festival, we ran three events which focused on promoting the support and funding we offer to digital businesses; exploring the future of tech with global companies and explaining how businesses can become more innovative.

This year saw Leeds Digital Festival swiftly convert its April festival to a virtual one because of the pandemic, and this autumn it launched a second series of activity.  

As the largest tech event in the UK, Leeds Digital Festival plays a crucial role in highlighting the region’s strengths in the digital, creative and technology sectors, helping to attract new investment and opportunities.  

Prior to the pandemic, Leeds City Region had the fastest growing digital sector in the country, with employment growth of 48% between 2015 and 2018.   

A recent report from the Scale Up Institute revealed Leeds City Region has the highest scale-up rate in the North, outperforming Manchester by 12%. This is because scaling up requires the right talent, support and ecosystem and the LEP has worked hard to achieve this. Recent tech investors to the region include dxw,iwoca, Accenture Digital, TTEC, AND Digital, and Perform Group, with more in the pipeline.   

Now in its fifth year, the festival has gone from strength-to-strength creating a collaborative space celebrating digital culture in all its forms. 

As executive sponsors once again this year, we place a high value on the festival as it brings together digital and tech businesses from across our region on one platform. The festival helps to showcase our digital community and talent pipeline, our offer to tech businesses interested in locating to our region and our support for growing businesses.  

During this autumn’s festival, we ran three events which focused on promoting the support and funding we offer to digital businesses; exploring the future of tech with global companies and explaining how businesses can become more innovative.    

At our Future of Tech event, we heard from some of the world’s fastest-growing global tech firms, many of which are headquartered in China. They shared their journeys, innovative new approaches, and the opportunities they bring to local UK business. The event showcased technologies that benefit society and highlighted the opportunities for businesses in international markets.  

Videos of each session of our Future of Tech event are available to view below.  


The Future of Tech: Part 1

LEP Chair, Roger Marsh OBE DL discusses the significance of the UK’s trading relationship with China, and the importance of Tech to society going forward. We also hear from David Lloyd, General Manager, UK, Netherlands & Nordics at Alibaba Group, who delivers a keynote speech about some of the digital trends Alibaba have seen this year, and how Leeds City Region businesses can use technology to access new customers in other markets to support their business recovery.

The Future of Tech: Part 2

David Shepherd, Director of Trade and Investment at the Leeds City Region Enterprise Partnership, hosts a panel discussion with senior representatives from LianLian Global, Tuya Smart, and YITU Technology, looking at the new innovative technologies implemented in 2020 and those in development.

The Future of Tech: Part 3

Kiran Patel, Senior Director at CBBC, hosts a panel discussion with senior representatives from TPP, Farnell, and Dahua, looking at the importance of international partnerships and how to establish global operations.