UK Prime Minister David Cameron has announced a £50m investment in London’s Tech City to create facilities for start-ups and entrepreneurs.
The money will go towards a building incubator facilities at Old Street’s technology hub – dubbed 'Silicon Roundabout' – to be used for classrooms, co-working spaces and workshops for start-ups and the wider community in the East End.
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“Two years ago I set out my commitment to help Tech City become one of the world’s great technology centres,” said Cameron at this morning’s launch. “Today we are seeing it continue to grow and go from strength to strength – and that is down to the talented, creative entrepreneurs who have set up there.
“The UK is in a global race and I am determined that we as a government continue doing everything we can to equip the UK to compete and thrive in that race. That’s why we’re investing in creating the largest civic space in Europe – a place for start-up companies and the local community to come together and become the next generation of entrepreneurs.”
The investment plan comes on the same day as a number of private sector companies announced new bases in Old Street's Tech City.
KPMG will be the first of the “big four” accounting firms to set up a permanent office in Shoreditch, where it plans to offer advice to up-and-coming technology companies on how to grow their businesses.
Cisco has announced it is teaming up with publisher DC Thomson and University College London (UCL) to create an innovation centre in Shoreditch, focused on digital and media companies, with room for up to 25 firms.
Other technology companies moving into Old Street's Silicon Roundabout area include: Microsoft, which is opening a technology development centre; IBM, which is establishing its entrepreneur sponsorship programme for local companies; and Salesforce, which is planning a series of events with the Tech City Investment Organisation to showcase new start-ups.
“Tech City has become a thriving hub of tech-based enterprise and creativity,” said Joanna Shields, the former Facebook executive due to join Tech City Investment Organisation as CEO in January 2013. “We have a vibrant community here, full of exciting emerging businesses that are growing alongside some of the world’s most respected tech companies.
“We have the opportunity to take this momentum and make Tech City the global leader in tech innovation and the location of choice for start-ups and growth businesses.”