UK gov plans 'tech city' investment outside of M25

Now that the PR buzz has settled since last year’s shouting about the so-called East London Tech City, ministers are pawing at further further funds for investing in new areas going into 2013.

Business, Innovation and Skills (BIS) Minister Mark Prisk was questioned on how much cash had been earmarked for investments in other cities.

Budgets from the Technology Strategy Board (TSB) and UK Trade and Investment (UKTI) have so far funded the East London Tech City – which the government has pushed as a shining light of entrepreneurship.  

The project has acctracted some big names such as Cisco and Google, the latter of which has built an ‘innovation hub’ office near Shoreditch.

Prisk said that the UKTI has been allocated £26 million for “specific inward investment events and programmes in the UK”.   He said the Tech City’s share of the programme was £1.7 million, 6.5 percent of the total budget.   

The Tech City Launchpad initiative, which provides grants for Tech City startups, is run by the Technology Strategy Board.

According to Prisk, the Launchpad has committed grant funding of “£1,732,806 for digital projects seeking matched investment”. 

The total of grants accepted so far amounts to £200,000, he said,  though the firms which have been allocated them need to find the same amount of funding in order to get their hands on the money.

Further expansion of the project into other areas outside of London will be on the way in the future.  The TSB will be “investigating additional technology areas and cities for other possible Launchpad activities in 2012-13”, Prisk said.