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Nick Hill

1,600 new jobs to be created as UK economy set for £2.3bn tech boost

The UK is set to see the creation of 1,600 new jobs and billions of pounds of investment into the economy, Prime Minister Theresa May announced on Tuesday (June 13th).

The Prime Minister is hosting a raft of companies for a roundtable, as part of London Tech Week, to showcase Britain as the best place in the world to run a tech company.

US cloud provider Salesforce is set to invest £1.9bn in over the next five years, including the opening of its second UK data centre in 2019.

UAE investment fund Mubadala is launching a £300m European investment fund based in the UK; whereas 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.

The Prime Minister has also made a number of commitments so that tech companies will benefit from government funding, and greater access to talent and data under new plans.

These announcements will include:

  • A new £2.5bn British Patient Capital programme, which is expected to attract a further £5bn in private investment, to support UK companies with high growth potential to access the long-term investment they need to grow and go global.
  • A new Start-Up Visa for entrepreneurs will launch in Spring 2019. This will replace a visa route which was exclusively for graduates, opening it up to talented business founders. This will include accelerators playing a role in the endorsement of candidates.
  • Roger Taylor will be announced as Chair of the Centre for Data Ethics and Innovation, alongside a consultation on the role of the Centre – a key part of plans for a new National Data Strategy.
  • Opening up key parts of the Ordnance Survey’s valuable geospatial data to small businesses for free to boost competition in the digital economy.
  • 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.

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.

Prime Minister Theresa May said: “The measures we are announcing will allow innovative British startups to invest in their future – and in the UK – by hiring more skilled people, expanding their business and exporting their expertise across the world.

“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.”

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. So, 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 also commented: “The UK is already a world-leading destination for tech investment with one tech start-up opening every 50 minutes.

“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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