Google Campus opened by Chancellor George Osborne

Google Campus offices The Google Campus will house newly established technology start-ups

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The UK will become the "technology centre of Europe", Chancellor George Osborne has vowed.

He was speaking at the opening of Google Campus, a new centre offering desk space and mentoring for technology companies.

Mr Osborne said Campus was part of a wider effort to "create the next generation of British technologies".

However, some UK start-ups outside of the capital have accused the government of being too London-centric.

Google's Eze Vidra described the opening as a "transformational moment for the UK start-up community".

Campus is situated in the Old Street area of east London, an area dubbed the Silicon Roundabout.

The new building incorporates existing co-working space TechHub, which has now moved out of its original premises.

On the building's sixth floor is SeedCamp, an early stage investment programme which puts cash into about 20 fledgling technology companies a year.


Mr Osborne said the work between Google and the government's Tech City initiative was the first of several partnerships needed to give the sector sufficient support.

Start Quote

This is the path we need to take to create new jobs”

End Quote George Osborne Chancellor

"This partnership model is absolutely in line with our approach to Tech City," he said.

"The government doesn't believe you can click your fingers and create a technology cluster. Wherever possible, our approach is to go with the grain of what's already happening."

He said that since the Tech City initiative was launched in 2010, the number of technology firms in the area had risen from 200 to 700.

Further plans to bring research and development companies to the area would mean the UK remained at the "very cutting edge of innovation", the chancellor said.

"We want the UK to become the hub for technology in Europe as a whole.

"This is the path we need to take to create new jobs, new growth, and new prosperity in every corner of this country."

The North

However, while the Silicon Roundabout area is recognised as the UK's biggest start-up hub, it is by no means the only cluster of firms in the country.

Some technology companies, particularly those in the North, feel that the government should take steps to avoid projects like Tech City acting in isolation.

"We're an incredibly weightless industry, so a single location seems counterintuitive," said John Hart, communications manager for Sunderland Software City, an industry body supporting tech start-ups.

Stephanie McGovern takes a tour of Google's Tech Campus in London

"In the North East we're really strong on business support technology, and renewable industry, so there's real opportunity for the government to connect those opportunities more than they are doing at the moment."

However, Martin Bryant, managing editor of The Next Web, said emerging hubs must prove themselves before big firms would begin to move in.

"I'm not at all disgruntled or annoyed that Google would set up in London," he told the BBC.

"It makes perfect sense. It's where all the investment is.

"I think what the North has to do is earn its chops in terms of credibility. The North needs to do something for itself before Google comes along."


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  • rate this

    Comment number 67.

    From an internal perspective - Unless the government make Computer Science and ICT part of the new, so called, EBacc we will not generate enough new young talent to join the party at the Silcon roundabout... some of the talent will have to come from the outside the UK...not always a bad thing but surely we will need a balance.

  • rate this

    Comment number 66.

    I think we should do all we can to encourage it, however the lunatic left will of course demand that the cleaners earn £50k a year for a 20 hour week with 40 days holidays and the entepreneurs to be taxed at 80%.

  • rate this

    Comment number 65.

    @60.Lazarus Legcis
    The Google Campus is just a partnership between Google and 3 managed spaced companies which were already based in the Old Street area.

    Essentially all it added was a new building with better facilities and a few more networking possiblilities.

    The startups were already here, their existence and presence here have nothing to do with Mr Osborne's "chat with Eric Schmitt"

  • rate this

    Comment number 64.

    51.Matt Marshall
    What's with the negative comments? . . So, why the complaints?
    Why? Because just like ALL UK governments before, when this fine country of ours gives birth to intellectually outstanding concepts, where its are hard to visualise their worth at first, (namely cant see a quick '£' value to them), theyre given over to the USA, in order to offload the risk!!

  • rate this

    Comment number 63.

    We might well become the tech capital of Europe, but we'll all be eating cold pasties.

  • rate this

    Comment number 62.

    Mr Osbourne spoke of the cutting edge. I am informed the techspeak for newer than "cutting edge" is in fact the "bleeding edge". I am confident that Mr Osbourne and his colleagues will take us there and even further

  • rate this

    Comment number 61.

    Best thing you can do George is just get out of the way.
    Few enough in your Coalition have been anywhere near any business never mind IT (although they might have more clue than the govt of social workers & rights lawyers they replaced).
    If you want to do something useful, try to put a block on the tide of regulatory rubbish that spews forth from the cretins in Brussels.

  • rate this

    Comment number 60.

    Agree with 31.
    Improve those services, within reason for start-ups too, and you'll notice the UK taking big steps. The campus is a nice idea, though, don't forget the core pieces.

  • rate this

    Comment number 59.

    This HYS may as well be titled "Do you like Labour and hate the Tories?". Vacuous, unhelpful, off topic, untrue and unthinking comments throughout, adding nothing to the debate. This story is about an example of creating employment opportunities, something people need. First thing the great British public do is run it down and blame the government as they always do. What a pathetic bunch you are.

  • rate this

    Comment number 58.

    41. So you advocate looking at something that works, do the opposite, fail miserably but wear a smug grin?

    (Heavy Sigh). No I advocate not trying to claim credit for other peoples initiatives, as well as not deliberately associating your grining mug with the popularity of others (Blair was a master of this) in the hope that this will make you popular

  • rate this

    Comment number 57.

    Oh for crying out load, you lot, just stop your moaning. Despite the fact that this Campus is proabably 5 years or even 10 year too late, it is still positive... grow up!

  • rate this

    Comment number 56.

    It's interesting that the government wants the UK to become the "technology centre of Europe" yet ICT has been dropped from the curriculum in schools. Most schools are going down the E bacc route so ICT and Technology are being sidelined in favour of Ebacc subjects.

    I'm interested to know will be running the technology centre of Europe in the future!

  • rate this

    Comment number 55.

    27.Donald Rockhopper
    "...I observe he has never had a job outside politics"

    Never had a job outside politics?

    Not true....
    This from Wikipedea "Osborne's first job was entering the names of people who had died in London into a National Health Service computer. He also briefly worked for Selfridges, re-folding towels...."

    Truly a Chancelior to be proud of!

  • rate this

    Comment number 54.

    why are coders so cynical ???

  • rate this

    Comment number 53.

    I came to UK as a technology specialist and have done well but some time I worry about the future of my children, especially when I compare their school education with their cousins in India. These kinds of news makes me feel better but like others have commented : are we bringing up our children to the standard required to working in these futuristic technology companies?

  • rate this

    Comment number 52.

    lmao "technology centre of europe" jesus places north of watford are still struggling to get decent if any broadband, and barrows only recently discoverd the wheel

  • rate this

    Comment number 51.

    What's with all the negative comments?

    I genuinely believe that this government sees the potential from investment in technology and our broadband infrastructure. Eric Schmidt has talked about the talent and overall potential the UK has, and now the government seems to be taking some really positive steps.

    So, why the complaints?

  • rate this

    Comment number 50.

    What a pity that George Osborne was involved. He appears clueless about everything.

  • rate this

    Comment number 49.

    Technology Centre of Europe? That must be why another DWP contract, the Universal Payments Program has been outsourced and offshored, That's 1 Billion pounds worth of investment gone right there.

    Thanks George

    As reported by Computer weekly.

  • rate this

    Comment number 48.

    It has the scent of a convenient soundbyte to me.
    The bloke has no technical or scientific qualifications and yet he thinks the UK can rise to be a centre of tech excellence? And all that in the same year that new scientists are being charged 9k a year to be trained.
    The man must be bonkers.


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