There’s a lot of pressure on the Chancellor to deliver a strong Spring Budget this year, with almost every aspect of our economy shouting out for financial support. How the government chooses to allocate its funds is set to be heavily scrutinised.

For those of us in the tech sector, there’s a clear opportunity in this Spring Budget for the Chancellor to demonstrate his commitment to creating an tech industry that rivals – and even overtakes – Silicon Valley.

Indeed, the government has for years claimed it is willing to do what it takes to turn the UK into a tech powerhouse with unmatched investment, greater regional opportunities and the policies to support startups. But with a recession looming and layoffs being made right across the tech sector, our industry needs the government to show its commitment more than ever.

So, what should the Chancellor be focusing on this Spring Budget?

Funding & Tech Nation

The wrapping up of Tech Nation was met with disappointment from across the industry. It provided budding startups with unrivalled support networks and funding circles that helped businesses grow, and it’s clear the hole it has now left quickly needs to be filled.

While the recent launch of the Department for Science, Innovation and Technology demonstrates some level of commitment towards the sector from the government, Tech Nation offered a government-backed ‘not-for-profit’ that had the UK’s startups at the heart of every decision it made and every penny it invested. 

The UK tech industry needs a Tech Nation now more than ever. Whilst innovation remains consistently high, entrepreneurs and startup leaders need support both financially and educationally so they know how to tackle the issues facing them, whether that’s a likely incoming recession or the ongoing cost of living crisis.  

Similarly, funding should be allocated to help secure the future – and employees – of our best and brightest startups, and reduce the volume of layoffs we’re currently witnessing across the sector.

Whether this takes the form of a new ‘tech jobs grant’, or aiding technology companies with increased funding and support (like Tech Nation provided), action must be taken to help stem the flood of job cuts sooner rather than later. This wave of job losses is having an impact on the perception of the UK technology industry, and if employees and fresh talent suspect that their jobs won’t be safe within the sector, they’ll look elsewhere or perhaps even abroad.  

Tech sector reacts as Tech Nation to be wound up

Continue to ‘level up’

The UK technology sector is still over-reliant on its capital city. There has been a sustained effort over the past few years to grow other regions of the UK to incorporate the growth in the technology industry. Cities like Glasgow and Leeds have opened their arms to corporations and technology businesses looking to expand out of London and the industry has benefited hugely given the larger, more diverse pool of talent now available to them outside of the Capital. 

More cities and regions are calling out for further significant investment to help attract new businesses and global tech leaders to open offices or hire remote staff in areas outside of London. With hybrid working now a permanent feature of the workplace, options are open to businesses and employees to work from new locations, with greater investment in more of the UKs regions and cities, businesses and technology companies will follow. 

Silicon UK Valley 

Barring the 190+ days of Californian sunshine, few attributes that Silicon Valley possess can’t be replicated here in the UK. In fact, where Silicon Valley has walked, London and the UK can learn to run. Where the US tech industry has been quick, perhaps too quick, to chase growth over long-term profitability, the UK is in a position to take learnings from this and change tact. 

To implement this, the British government needs to bring in a ‘Tech Ambassador’, more than just a Secretary of State for the technology sector. This ambassador needs to be experienced, passionate and confident in drawing the gaze of wealthy US VCs away from their ‘innovative’ startups across the pond. Instead bringing their attention, their investment and their insights to help support the truly profitable future unicorns that the UK is producing at the moment and which are crying out for substantial investment. 


The UK technology industry sits at a crossroads, where it could excel in new territory, competing and ultimately supplanting the likes of Silicon Valley to define a new global model for successful and sustainable tech investment, absorbing the benefits from this success into the UK economy at a time when it needs it most. Previous governments have for years spoken positively about their ambition to make the UK technology industry a world leader. Now is the time to put those words to work and commit to making the UK Tech scene the best it possibly can be. 

As the first Spring Budget for the newly-created Science, Innovation and Technology department, it will be interesting to see just how much backing it has to go forth and truly innovate the science and technology sectors throughout the country.

Tech supremo speaks out about Tech Nation demise