Accenture MD Mark Larsen with Digital Minister Margot James
Accenture MD Mark Larsen with Digital Minister Margot James
Richard Bell

Masterplan established to make Newcastle ‘Silicon Valley of the North’

Tech leaders and the Government have outlined a masterplan to transform Newcastle into a Silicon Valley of the North.

At a roundtable event in the city last week, Digital and Creative Industries Minister Margot James MP sat down with representatives from some of the region’s biggest employers to plot Newcastle’s future as a world-class hub for technology.

Delegates drew up a plan of action that aims to capitalise on Newcastle’s growing reputation as fertile ground for digital and tech-led enterprises.

Strategic recommendations established included improved access to VC and angel funding through the region’s universities and accelerator programmes; greater collaboration and knowledge transfer between scaleups and startups; and a step change in computer science taught in schools, with businesses potentially sponsoring teaching programmes.

Professional services firm Accenture, which employs more than 1,100 people on Cobalt Business Park, hosted the event.

Accenture’s managing director in Newcastle, Mark Larsen, said: “It was fantastic to host such a vibrant discussion with the Digital Minister helping us explore how we establish a global digital centre in the region.

“Talent and skills are vital for Accenture and for growth in the tech sector, and holding the meeting at the UTC in the Stephenson Quarter gives us both pride in the past, and confidence in the future.”

Delegates at the roundtable event included representatives from software company Sage, Northumberland County Council, investment firm Northstar Ventures, gaming giant Ubisoft, fintech True Potential, digital products consultancy Hedgehog Lab and Newcastle and Northumbria universities.

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