DCMS commits £21m to boost UK tech sector

New national network of regional tech hubs from Belfast to Birmingham promised in move to expand Tech City UK and Tech North, says government

Posted 15 November 2017 by Gary Flood

A new national organisation will work alongside existing tech and business organisations to roll out a successful tech-hub model right across the country.

That’s the promise of DCMS (Department of Digital, Culture, Media and Sport) at least, which says it’s found £21m to help advance the country’s digital agenda.

As part of the plans, this new Tech City UK – soon to be ‘Tech Nation’ – will give a claimed 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.

For example, successful Tech North programmes such as Founders Network and Northern Stars will be extended nationally, while existing national programmes such as Future Fifty and Upscale will be strengthened.

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 achieve aims outlined in the Industrial and Digital Strategies.

These hubs include Birmingham, Edinburgh and Glasgow, Belfast, Cardiff and London.

The funding will also help entrepreneurs in emerging tech sectors, such as Artificial Intelligence (AI) and fintech by connecting them to peers and potential investors in other hubs across the country and by offering tailored development programmes.

“This new funding is an important part of our plans to make the UK the best place in the world to start and grow a digital business, with the benefits spread right across the country,” claimed Minister for Digital, Matt Hancock.

“This regional network will accelerate the growth of the digital tech sector, cement the pipeline of talent and spark the next generation of innovative firms to seize the future opportunities of digitisation – bringing jobs, skills and higher productivity to our regions.”