The UK government has pledged £50m for East London's Tech City as part of a plan to better support fledgling technology start-ups in the area as they develop and grow their businesses.
Prime minister David Cameron announced £50m of government funding for the project to regenerate Old Street roundabout (dubbed 'Silicon Roundabout'), at an event in Tech City on Thursday.
"Two years ago I set out my commitment to help Tech City become one of the world's great technology centres," Cameron said in a statement. "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."
"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" — David Cameron
The space, which will include a new building, will be used to help thousands of students develop their programming and business skills, and will include a 400-seater auditorium with boardrooms, labs and workspaces, and high-speed T4 broadband. It will also host 3D printing services for visiting start-ups and other members of the wider community.
"Our new centre will provide not only a vital resource to nurture upcoming technology and creative superstars from around the world, it will drive huge investment into the capital and help create thousands of jobs," Boris Johnson, Mayor of London, said in a statement.
Once up and running, the centre plans to support around 200 start-ups per year, help 1,000 young people find skilled employment and host two major international conferences for the creative and tech industries each year.
A feasibility study, set to be completed early next year, is looking at where to position the building and how much it will cost, according to a Greater London Authority spokeswoman. However, a Tech City Investment Organisation (TCIO) spokeswoman revealed that building work will begin on the civic space in 2014.
Alongside the investment announcement, a number of other companies revealed their intentions to open, or expand, their presence in the area.
For example, Microsoft is planning a Technology Development Centre for nurturing start-ups with new ideas, and is looking to issue apprenticeships for developers in the area.
Similarly, as port of a joint venture, Cisco, DC Thomson and University College London announced they would be opening a new centre in Shoreditch, called IDEALondon. The centre will be used to support the growth of up to 25 digital and media companies.
Other companies moving into or supporting the area include: KPMG, Alert Me, Barclays, Ravensbourne, Skills Matter, Salesforce.com, Brunswick, Busuu, Career Builder, Cavendish Corporate Finance LLP, ECNLive, Lawbit, RIM, and The Trampery.