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Fintech association Innovate Finance has sent a delegation to Manchester to forge a new connection with the city as part of its regional strategy to unite and promote technology hubs across the UK.

Innovate Finance said its visit to the city, alongside special envoy for fintech Eileen Burbidge, is a significant step towards supporting one of the UK’s biggest financial services centres and the local technology startups that are helping to create a better financial market.

The London delegation will joins Sir Howard Bernstein, chief executive of Manchester City Council and Claire Braithwaite, head of Tech North for a ceremonial event at Barclay’s RISE workspace – a gathering that will symbolise the start of a unique partnership that aims to create stronger ties between London and Manchester’s expanding fintech clusters.

Ed Vaizey, minister for the digital economy, said: “Manchester makes a great contribution to the UK’s booming fintech sector, and continues to attract a growing number of startups, innovators, corporates and investors.

“This city will play an important role in Innovate Finance’s regional strategy – all part of the work being done by industry and government to build and boost the northern powerhouse.”

In additional to being a major financial hub for the UK, Manchester is home to the largest tech cluster outside London according to Tech Britain. It plays host to a number of startups and innovators and has the country’s largest density of online digital firms.

Bernsteib said: “Manchester prides itself on being a dynamic and innovative city with ever-improving transport links and other infrastructure as we look to the future. We are already a major financial services centre and the home to Europe’s second largest cluster of digital and creative industries, with a can-do culture. As the financial technology sector grows, I’m confident Manchester will prove an attractive place for startups to do business.”

Earlier this year, Innovate Finance united Leeds and Edinburgh’s fintech hubs with London’s ecosystem and is currently working with them to harness their potential to build strong technology clusters that can create better financial services for consumers. Manchester is the newest city to join the regional programme and a key instigator of new technology for the country’s financial services industry.

Innovate Finance CEO Lawrence Wintermeyer said: “We are proud to be in Manchester today with the most influential people shaping the future of financial services. This city has a rich history in banking that dates back to the industrial revolution and the cotton boom and it still plays an important and vital role in the UK economy.

“We aim to work closer with Manchester’s FinTech leaders to foster valuable relationships between startups, regional powerhouse firms and policy makers to ensure that innovation continues to thrive here and Manchester plays a crucial role in the future of finance.”