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The UK’s tech sector is to receive a £21 million investment to create a new national network of regional tech hubs in areas across the country, including Belfast, Cardiff, Edinburgh and Birmingham.
Tech City UK and Tech North are to become a national organisation, Tech Nation, the government has announced. The organisation will aim to speed up the growth of the UK’s pioneering and innovative digital companies and clusters, helping spread the benefits even further.
The funding will see the new Tech Nation work alongside existing tech partners and business organisations to accelerate the expansion already underway by rolling out its tech-hub model.
As part of the plans, Tech City UK will give more than 40,000 people the opportunity to develop the skills needed to start or grow a digital business and will offer support for up to 4,000 UK tech businesses through targeted growth programmes.
Eleven regional hubs will form the backbone of a national network of digital excellence to reflect the country’s standing as a global powerhouse for tech industries and help the government o achieve aims outlined in the Industrial and Digital Strategies.
The funding will also help entrepreneurs in emerging tech sectors by connecting them to peers and potential investors in other hubs across the country and by offering tailored development programmes.
Gerard Grech, CEO of Tech City UK, said: “We are thrilled the government is backing our model which has played an important role in helping the country’s tech firms accelerate their growth.
“Tech Nation will help transform the UK from a series of standalone tech clusters into a powerful national network that will reinforce the UK’s position at the top of global tech rankings.
“This will ensure we continue to be at the forefront of digital innovation, developing tech talent and attracting international investment.”
Eileen Burbidge, chair of Tech City UK, said: “We are delighted to hear that the government wants to increase Tech City UK’s funding for the next four years.
“Under the Tech Nation banner, this country that has brought so much innovation to the world and leads in sub-sectors such as fintech, cybersecurity, artificial intelligence, robotics and life sciences will build a national network of digital excellence so that the UK will continue to be recognised as one of the best places in the world to start or grow a digital tech business.”