Tech City to get £50million centre in Old Street

By Rob Virtue on December 6, 2012 12:35 PM |

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A flagship technical and creative institute is to be built in Old Street to help the growth of Tech City, the Government announced on Thursday.

It said the £50 million centre, to be built in the area dubbed Silicon Roundabout, will "discover and attract new talent" to east London as well as drive investment in the digital sector.

Prime Minister David Cameron was joined by London Mayor Boris Johnson for the announcement at the Urban Age Conference.

Mr Johnson said: "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.

"The time is right to lay solid foundations in Tech City for London's digital revolution."

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He added: "I am absolutely convinced that the next Steve Jobs, Bill Gates, or Mark Zuckerberg will hail not from Silicon Valley but from this small corner of London, and it's my hope that this exciting new centre will be pivotal in their creation."

Funding for the centre was included in Chancellor George Osborne Autumn budget on Wednesday.

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Tech City backers hope the new Silicon Roundabout building will be a visual centrepiece for the industry in the UK as well as a hub for around 200 start-ups each year.

Mentoring will be provided and major international conferences will also be hosted there.
It is estimated 1,000 young people will find skilled work at the centre.

Prime Minister David Cameron said: "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.

"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."

Those behind Tech City want it to expand eastwards to the Olympic Park and possibly beyond.

Earlier this year, Canary Wharf Group said it would devote a floor of One Canada Square to tech start-ups to help them connect with the finance industry.

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Level39, pictured, is due to open in January and will offer reduced rates to entice small firms to the estate.

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