Tech City UK has appointed Claire Braithwaite as the first ever head of the Tech North initiative to grow the innovation hubs outside of London.
Tech North came out of the Northern Futures project developed by Deputy Prime Minister Nick Clegg to facilitate the debate around decentralisation and economic growth in the North of England.
The initial focus will be on Manchester and Newcastle, with the team also working in Hull, Leeds, Liverpool, Sheffield and Sunderland. These areas alone are home to more than 170,000 people work in digital and Clegg has pitched £2m per year to give these businesses more support, about the same budget as East London’s Tech City gets every year too.
Claire joins the organisation from Clearly So, a corporate finance advisory firm for social enterprises that are looking to raise investment, and will be putting a team in place to drive these efforts. Herb Kim, founder and CEO of Newcastle’s Thinking Digital based in Newcastle and a non-executive board director for Tech City UK, has already been appointed to the executive chair of the Tech North Advisory Board.
Nick Clegg said:
“I’m proud and pleased that Northern Futures has brought creative minds, tech experts and entrepreneurs together to help build world-class tech clusters spanning our Northern cities. Tech North will help business boom in the North, bringing a stronger economy but also a fairer society when thousands of jobs are created in the North.”