Home to the first programmable computer, the UK’s only FTSE 100 Technology Company, Sage, and once a key player in the industrial revolution, the North has offered the world much in terms of technological advancement. We discuss what makes the North so great and why we, at the Big Chip Awards, love our digital businesses.


The North-South divide is often played out in the media to highlight the stark contrast between the regions. Differences can be found anywhere from the physical landscape to social mobility, the arts to cuisine, accents and slang to mannerisms. 

The North has always been known for its iconic cultural offerings such as its outstanding contributions to British music and its world-famous arts scene, as well as being the birthplace of Emmeline Pankhurst, the mother of the Suffragette movement in the 1900s. But the region which once drove the industrial revolution is becoming a major player in a new revolution: the digital one.

Recognising the vast talent, opportunity and success stories of the North’s digital sector, the Big Chip Awards are considered amongst the most credible accolades in the industry.

Spanning 18 years, the Big Chip Awards shine a light on the hard work and continued success of our region’s digital offerings. The industry is continually expanding and the 2016 Manchester Digital Skills Audit found growth of 84% for Northern digital businesses over the past year.

Clusters in the region are pressing forward as innovators in a whole range of digital disciplines and we now offer gaming geniuses in Liverpool, Healthtech pioneers in Leeds, e-commerce trailblazers in Newcastle and software development buffs in Hull. We even have the UK’s fastest supercomputer in Chester! Our tech economy is gaining momentum and going from strength to strength.

Our region’s businesses not only offer up some of the best digital work in the country, they also provide opportunity. Outside of London, the North offers the most digital jobs – currently standing at a figure over 280,000. Due to this, the region has a 4.2% share within the whole UK digital tech economy and locally speaking, the impact of our digital sector on the overall regional GVA stands at 5.2%. Our regional tech sector is helping to drive our national and local economy.

The Northern digital industry is thriving and that’s what makes the Big Chip Awards such an enjoyable venture year after year. There is no shortage of talent, excellence and success for us to celebrate. With all this in mind, plus the fact the North is now home to the top tech city in the UK for trading on the continent, Manchester, it’s no wonder why the Big Chip Awards keep coming back to celebrate all things digital and Northern!

Further info:

The shortlist will be announced on Thursday 28th April 2016. The awards ceremony will be held, as in previous years, at the historic Manchester Midland Hotel on the 23 June 2016.