UK tech sector set for £2.3bn boost
The UK has received a huge boost after £2.3 billion of investment into the technology sector was announced by the Prime Minister.
Theresa May, speaking during London Tech Week, said 1,600 new jobs will be created as a result of the investment.
The Prime Minister will host several tech giants on a roundtable today as she bids to showcase Britain as the best place in the world to run a tech company.
US cloud provider Salesforce will invest £1.9bn into the UK economy over the next five years, opening its second data centre on these shores in 2019.
Meanwhile UAE-based Mubadala is launching a £300m European investment fund based in the UK and Japanese system integration company NTT Data will invest £41m to open a new office and Innovation Centre, creating up to 200 jobs over the next three years.
This week London Mayor Sadiq Khan said London’s tech sector will help it through the Brexit process.
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May also announced new plans to help tech companies benefit from government funding and greater access to talent and data. Among them is a £2.5bn British Patient Capital programme, which is expected to attract a further £5bn in private investment and will support UK companies with high growth potential.
A new Start-Up Visa for entrepreneurs will launch in spring 2019, opening up the visa route – formerly for graduates alone – to talented business founders. Business accelerators will play a role in the endorsement of candidates.
Roger Taylor will be announced as chair of the Centre for Data Ethics and Innovation while key parts of the Ordnance Survey’s geospatial data will be opened up to small businesses for free to boost competition.
And two new tech hubs will be launched in Brazil and South Africa to build innovative partnerships and develop skills, capability and business networks in these markets.
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“The measures we are announcing will allow innovative British start-ups to invest in their future – and in the UK – by hiring more skilled people, expanding their business and exporting their expertise across the world,” said Prime Minister May.
“It’s a great time to be in tech in the UK, and our modern Industrial Strategy will drive continued investment, ensuring the nation flourishes in the industries of the future and creating more high-paying jobs.”
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Last year, British tech businesses attracted $7.8bn of funding, almost double the amount received in 2016, compared to France and Germany’s combined total of $6bn.
Some 2.1 million people are now employed in the digital tech economy and a new digital tech job is created in the UK every 50 minutes, according to new estimates released this week by Dealroom and Tech Nation.
Chancellor Philip Hammond added: “The UK is home to some of the world’s most innovative companies and I want to make sure that they stay at the forefront of the tech revolution.
“British Patient Capital will provide an extra £2.5bn for these cutting-edge business ensuring Britain remains one of the best places to start and grow a company.”
International Trade Secretary Dr Liam Fox said: “Our tech sector, with our strong legal system, skilled workforce and low taxation economy combine with our world class universities to make us the most attractive home for investment in Europe.
“As an international economic department, DIT will continue to encourage investment from overseas with a further series of events to attract inward business.
“Last month we launched a new online portfolio of opportunities worth £30bn, and in turn this will drive growth and create jobs in our economy.”
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