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Government to splash £50m on Silicon Roundabout regeneration

06 Dec 2012
Old Street roundabout in east London

The government is to splash out £50m on a regeneration of Silicon Roundabout in the East End of London to help continue the growth of the emerging tech start-up cluster.

The area was first earmarked as the centre of London's digital growth some two years ago, and has seen numerous firms move or emerge from the region, such as Google, Amazon and Silicon Valley Bank, alongside the likes of start-up facility TechHub.

Now, the government wants to ensure this growth continues by creating a new ‘civic space' for start-ups and entrepreneurs around the Old Street roundabout.

This new space will be formed of labs and workspaces, including access to the latest 3D printing technology, and superfast broadband connections which can also be used by the wider community.

The government predicts the new space will create some 20 new jobs to manage the centre, and offer the capacity to train 10,000 students in coding each year, potentially rising to 50,000 a year over time.

"The UK is in a global race and I am determined that we as a government continue doing everything we can to equip the UK to compete and thrive in that race," said prime minister David Cameron.

"That's why we're investing in creating the largest civic space in Europe - a place for start-up companies and the local community to come together and become the next generation of entrepreneurs."

As well as the new funding for the area, several major tech vendors announced new projects in the area, including a new developer apprenticeship scheme from Microsoft, an entrepreneur development programme from IBM and a new innovation centre to be part-funded by Cisco.

"The 2012 Games were a catalyst for enormous change in East London, with a new quarter of the capital now primed to become the world's most thriving centre for technology and innovation," added London mayor Boris Johnson.

"The time is right to lay solid foundations in Tech City for London's digital revolution, and this list of major new firms committing to the area is a testament to the confidence leading tech entrepreneurs have in the capital."

The work in Old Street and the wider area is being overseen by the Tech City Investment Organisation (TCIO), which will be run by the former chief operating officer of Facebook, Joanna Shields and she too heralded the announcements today as vital for the UK's future.

"We have the opportunity to take this momentum and make Tech City the global leader in tech innovation and the location of choice for start-ups and growth businesses."

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Dan Worth

Dan Worth is the news editor for V3 having first joined the site as a reporter in November 2009. He specialises in a raft of areas including fixed and mobile telecoms, data protection, social media and government IT. Before joining V3 Dan covered communications technology, data handling and resilience in the emergency services sector on the BAPCO Journal

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