Clegg launches North England tech initiative to “rival Berlin and New York” tech clusters

TechNorth will look to bring together tech industries from Manchester, Leeds, Sheffield, Liverpool and North East

Deputy prime minister Nick Clegg has today announced the launch of TechNorth, a new project intended to bring together the digital technology industries from across the North of England.

Part of Tech City UK,  TechNorth will work through UK Trade and Investment (UKTI) to “harmonise” the tech clusters in Manchester, Leeds, Sheffield, Liverpool, and the North East cluster (Newcastle, Sunderland, and the Tees Valley) and plans “to do what Tech City UK has done for East London”.

Clegg has said that he wants the project to “create a Northern tech hub to rival Berlin, New York or Shanghai” and believes that the project will help attract and support tech talent in the North, while creating a “tech-savvy workforce”.

Businesses in the five Northern cities will be able to access start-up capital  through the initiative with TechNorth playing the role of a ‘superconnector’ linking start-ups to potential investors through events and pitch sessions.

Clegg commented: “My ambition, over time, is to double the number of tech jobs in the North, creating a stronger economy. To put this in context, it is estimated there are about 200,000 ICT jobs in the region currently.

“As a first step, I am announcing the creation of TechNorth, an extension of Tech City UK, tasked with promoting a world-class tech cluster spanning five cities in the North. […] I can confirm government will be investing in an organisation that promotes TechNorth internationally to encourage global businesses to invest here.

“Alongside this, TechNorth will look at the case for investment in digital skills to ensure these companies have a local pool of talented people and have access to the finance they need to grow.”

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