'There’s no reason why esports start-ups can't be part of new £21m UK tech network'
News - 15 Nov 2017
The British Esports Association welcomes government plans to invest £21 million into the UK's tech sector.
The investment will create a new national network of 11 regional tech hubs in areas across the country, including London, Belfast, Cardiff, Edinburgh, Glasgow and Birmingham.
Under the plans, the Government has announced that Tech City UK and Tech North are to become a national organisation, Tech Nation, to speed up the growth of the UK’s digital companies and clusters.
As part of the plans, Tech City UK will give more than 40,000 people the opportunity to develop the skills needed to start or grow a digital business - and will offer support for up to 4,000 UK tech businesses through 'targeted growth programmes'.
The funding will also help entrepreneurs in emerging tech sectors, such as Artificial Intelligence (AI) and Fintech, by connecting them to peers and potential investors in other hubs across the country - and by offering tailored development programmes.
You could argue esports is one such growing area, and the former Culture Minister believes this new network could boost the sector - including esports start-ups, organisations and other businesses.
"It's excellent to see plans by DCMS today to further support the future of UK’s world-class tech sector and to extend the benefits nationwide.
"Tech city doesn’t invest in companies, but provides a support network, giving them access to other tech companies at events they hold, as well as advisers such as legal experts etc. There’s no reason why an esports start up shouldn’t be part of the network."
We’re delighted to announce that @TechCityUK and @TechNorthHQ will become #TechNation - expanding our reach across the UK from a series of standalone tech hubs into one powerful network - aided by a further £21m funding over 4 years.
More: https://t.co/4f7gPCNlG4 pic.twitter.com/gmseB6Vfsv
— Tech City UK (@TechCityUK) November 15, 2017
Successful companies which have benefitted from Tech City UK’s work include Just Eat, Zoopla and Funding Circle.
Minister for Digital, Matt Hancock, added:
"This new funding is an important part of our plans to make the UK the best place in the world to start and grow a digital business, with the benefits spread right across the country.
"This regional network will accelerate the growth of the digital tech sector, cement the pipeline of talent and spark the next generation of innovative firms to seize the future opportunities of digitisation - bringing jobs, skills and higher productivity to our regions."
Gerard Grech, CEO of Tech City UK (soon to be Tech Nation), commented:
"Tech Nation will help transform the UK from a series of standalone tech clusters into a powerful national network that will reinforce the UK’s position at the top of global tech rankings.
"This will ensure we continue to be at the forefront of digital innovation, developing tech talent and attracting international investment."
More than 1.4 million people work in the UK’s digital tech sector and jobs are apparently being created at twice the rate of other sectors in the economy.
The news comes as the Government doubles the amount of visas available to leaders and other individuals in the tech/creative industries. The Home Office confirmed to British Esports that it's not yet been announced whether this includes better esports visas.