David Cameron heralds growth of London’s Tech City on three-year anniversary

The number of technology and digital companies in London has grown by 76 per cent in the last three years, and now stands at 88,215.

A new report compiled by Tech City UK shows that 27 per cent of all job growth in London comes from the technology and digital sector, with 582,000 people in the capital now employed in the space.

The Tech City Annual Report has been compiled to demonstrate the expansion of London’s digital economy, which has grown by 16.6 per cent in the three years examined.

The study has been released to coincide with a number of new policies created to help fast-growth technology companies achieve their potential.

The government is setting up its Exceptional Talent visa route which is aiming to provide an immigration passage for people with a ‘proven track record’ of developing successful technology businesses.

A new benchmarking system, called the UK Digital Services Index, will evaluate large and small digital companies listed on the London Stock Exchange. The index will widen the definition of what an internet service business is and become ‘more representative’ of the size of the UK digital space, according to a statement.

Prime minister David Cameron says he is ‘determined’ to make the UK the best place in the world to start and grow a company.

‘Today Tech City serves not only as an example of how a city can be transformed into an engine for growth and innovation, but is also a blueprint for fostering growth that has been recognised globally,’ he adds.

‘The combination of the right policies, the right people and the right programmes, backed by a government that listens and takes action, has led to some of the world’s best entrepreneurs and their companies choosing the UK as their home.’

The prime minister cites the Enterprise Investment Scheme, Seed Enterprise Investment Scheme, entrepreneur visa and High Growth Segment of the London Stock exchange as examples of initiative which have catalysed high rates of start-ups.

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Tech City UK has also announced which 25 companies make up the second batch of Future Fifty members – businesses then connected with what is described as ‘bespoke public and private sector support’. Contained within the latest tranche are online peer-to-peer funding platform Funding Circle and media engagement company Shazam.

Other new developments announced at the same time as the research include a commitment by open source software business Pivotal to invest £100 million in Tech City over the next ten years, and open an office there with 75 people. The government’s Technology Strategy Board is investing £15.5 million, of which £12.5 million will go towards research and development funding competitions.

Video interview with Tech City resident Alex Saint of Secret Escapes

Joanna Shields, CEO of Tech City UK, says that the government realised the growth potential of the technology sector back in 2010.

‘The economic impact generated by creative and innovative digital businesses is not only supporting our recovery, but as the new data shows it has ensured our lead as one of the world’s leading digital economies,’ Shields adds.

‘Our challenge now is to build on these firm foundations to drive higher rates of start-ups and create a landscape favourable to digitally-enabled firms to thrive and contribute long term to growth and jobs.’

Hunter Ruthven

Hunter Ruthven

Hunter was the Editor for GrowthBusiness.co.uk from 2012 to 2014, before moving on to Caspian Media Ltd to be Editor of Real Business.

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