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How local government can encourage digital regional growth


Romilly Dennys takes a look at what local governments should do to stimulate the UK’s tech startup community.

When I joined Coadec as the new executive director, my main priority was to build our UK-wide community of tech startups, and the investors and organisations who back them.

Just as I meet startups face-to-face in London, I strongly believe there’s only one way to understand regional tech communities; their local startup culture, government framework and distinct challenges – and that’s to jump on a train and hear their views in person.

Notwithstanding the often eye-watering expense of travel – itself a barrier for startups – I’ve visited Brighton, Cardiff and Newcastle, with future trips to Edinburgh, Liverpool and Birmingham planned. Three trips alone have created streams of policy content, case studies, new ideas and inspiration, but I’d like to focus on the role of local government. Against a backdrop of devolution, Brexit and a new Industrial Strategy, local government will play an integral role in ensuring digital economic growth continues across all sectors and reaches new corners of the UK....