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Government Promises Funds & Support To Build Tech Industry Around UK

Steve McCaskill is editor of TechWeekEurope and ChannelBiz. He joined as a reporter in 2011 and covers all areas of IT, with a particular interest in telecommunications, mobile and networking, along with sports technology.

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Prime Minister and Chancellor promise visas, funds, support and to meet with the industry to understand its needs post-Brexit

The government is pledging a multi-million pound package of funding, support, training and visas to aid the growth of the UK tech sector.

Headlining the package is a promise to double the number of visas available to the “brightest and best” talent to 2,000, alongside a £21 million fund to expand Tech City into a nationwide network of hubs.

This will be overseen by Tech Nation, with Belfast, Cardiff, Edinburgh and Birmingham mentioned specifically.

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UK tech industry

Other measures to stimulate the industry include £20 million fund to help public services take advantage of innovations like AI, a £20 million cybersecurity training programme for young people, and a £2 million broadband voucher scheme.

As part of the commitment, Prime Minister Teresa May and Chancellor Philip Hammond will also meet tech entrepreneurs around the country and host a roundtable at Downing Street to better understand the needs of the industry.

“Our digital tech sector is one of the UK’s fastest-growing industries, and is supporting talent, boosting productivity, and creating hundreds of thousands of good, high-skilled jobs up and down the country,” said the Prime Minister.

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“It is absolutely right that this dynamic sector, which makes such an immense contribution to our economic life and to our society, has the full backing of Government. Helping our world-class entrepreneurs and innovators to succeed is how we lay the foundations for our prosperity and build an economy fit for the future.

“Technology is at the heart of our modern Industrial Strategy, and we will continue to invest in the best new innovations and ideas, in the brightest and best talent, and in revolutionary digital infrastructure.

Chancellor Philip Hammond sees technology as a key pillar of the UK economy post-Brexit, despite the fact that the overwhelming majority of the industry wanted to stay part of the EU. It is hoped the stimulus will reduce the threat of startups leaving the UK and ensure that talent is not dissuaded from departing.

“Britain is a world leader in digital innovation with some of the brightest and best tech firms operating in this country,” he said. “Working with us, they can provide technological fixes to public sector problems, boost productivity, and get the nation working smarter as we create an economy fit for the future.”

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