This week the UK government announced its levelling up plans and here is a quick TechBritannia eye view on the announcement:
A paragraph which grabbed our attention was: “Three new Innovation Accelerators, major place-based centres of innovation, centred on Greater Manchester, the West Midlands, and Glasgow-City Region. These clusters of innovation will see local businesses and researchers in these areas backed by £100 million of new government funding to turbo-charge local growth, learning from the MIT-Greater Boston and Stanford-Silicon Valley models.” Hopefully, these will provide the blueprints for extending these beyond these three clusters.
A key element which will interest Tech Britons outside the South East is a mission for domestic public investment in Research & Development to increase by at least 40% across the North, Midlands, South West, Scotland, Wales, and Northern Ireland. Support for tech innovation will need to be a cornerstone within that program.
In the paper, the government recognises the strong local leadership mayors like Andy Street (West Midlands), Ben Houchen (Tees Valley) and Andy Burnham (Greater Manchester) have shown, and says it wishes to replicate this success across England.
Fundamental to this ‘devolution revolution’ would be a new model for England with more mayors for those areas that want one.
The UK government is inviting the first 9 areas to agree new county deals and seek to agree further MCA deals, extending devolution across England. The first 9 areas invited to begin negotiations will be Cornwall, Derbyshire & Derby, Devon, Plymouth and Torbay, Durham, Hull & East Yorkshire, Leicestershire, Norfolk, Nottinghamshire & Nottingham, and Suffolk.
By 2030, every part of England that wishes to have a ‘London-style’ devolution deal will have one.
One of the other twelve “missions” with a tech flavour is that by 2030, the UK will have nationwide gigabit-capable broadband and 4G coverage, with 5G coverage for the majority of the population.