Chancellor George Osborne sought to dampen the economic gloom on Tuesday with the announcement in his Autumn Statement of increased government investment in the UK's broadband infrastructure and open data initiatives, and more help for tech start-ups and SMEs.
The Chancellor first revealed a National Infrastructure Plan to include road and railway projects as well as broadband.
"The savings I've announced in the current budget have enabled me today to fund, pound for pound, £5bn of additional public spending on infrastructure over the next three years," he said.
"Today we're confirming almost £500m for scientific projects, from supercomputing and satellite technology to a world-beating animal health laboratory."
Specifically, the government will plough £100m into creating up to 10 'super-connected cities' across the UK, all of which will benefit from 80Mbit/s to 100Mbit/s broadband and "city-wide, high-speed mobile connectivity".
"There will be a particular focus on SMEs and strategic employment zones to support economic growth," said Osborne.
"Edinburgh, Belfast, Cardiff and London will all receive support from this fund, and a UK-wide competition will decide up to six further cities that will also receive funding."
When it comes to closing the digital divide, the Chancellor repeated previous assurances to open a £20m Rural Community Broadband Fund and a £15m pledge to fund up to six pilot Rural Growth Networks to boost economic growth in rural areas.
Osborne also repeated government plans to invest up to £150m to improve the "coverage and quality of mobile network services" where coverage is poor or non-existent.
There was also some good news for smaller tech firms struggling in the current economic conditions with the launch of a National Loan Guarantee Scheme designed to help such firms borrow at a lower rate of interest than before.
In addition, Osborne launched a Seed Enterprise Investment Scheme (SEIS) designed to encourage investment in new start-up companies.
"SEIS will provide income tax relief of 50 per cent for individuals who invest in shares in qualifying companies, with an annual investment limit for individuals of £100,000 and cumulative investment limit for companies of £150,000," read the statement.
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