Business: ICT

Department for Digital, Culture, Media and Sport written question – answered on 2nd February 2018.

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Photo of Mike Amesbury Mike Amesbury Labour, Weaver Vale

To ask the Secretary of State for Digital, Culture, Media and Sport, what steps her Department is taking to support (a) tech start up businesses and (b) the tech sector.

Photo of Margot James Margot James The Minister of State, Department for Culture, Media and Sport

We are committed to supporting the booming UK tech sector. The UK is already a world-leading digital economy with the sector contributing over £116Bn per year in gross value added and is growing twice as fast as the wider economy. Our ground-breaking digital strategy, published in March, set out how we intend to make the UK the best place to start and grow a digital business, and we are already delivering on those aims.

In November, our industrial strategy included commitments to boost spending on the infrastructure of the future, spreading 5G digital connectivity right across the country, raising investment in research and development, and improving skills by investing in maths, digital and technical education - all of which will support the continued success of the tech sector.

In the Autumn Budget, we also announced a further investment of £21 million to expand Tech City UK into a nationwide network – Tech Nation – aimed at accelerating the growth of the digital tech sector across the country. Tech Nation will support 40,000 entrepreneurs and up to 4,000 start-ups as they scale their businesses. Tech Nation will build on the success of its London and Northern clusters, delivering support for digital tech businesses in 11 cities across the UK. This will develop new regional clusters to boost burgeoning tech firms in cities such as Belfast, Cardiff and Newcastle.

The Budget also announced a doubling of the Enterprise Investment Scheme for knowledge intensive companies - including in the tech sector - and announced a 10-year action plan to unlock over £20 billion to finance growth in innovative firms.

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