Silicon Roundabout set to receive £50 million government facelift to boost Tech City growth

Old Street roundabout, which has been dubbed Silicon Roundabout, is set to receive £50 million of investment as the coalition government looks to boost the technology efforts of East London.

Growth potential: The Old Street roundabout is used for large-scale advertising

Growth potential: The Old Street roundabout is used for large-scale advertising

Prime minister David Cameron has announced plans to regenerate Old Street roundabout to support the 'growing' tech cluster.

The government is planning to 'transform' the area into Europe's largest indoor civic space, set aside for start-ups and entrepreneurs.

Speaking on the announcement, Cameron said, 'As well as backing the businesses of today, we are creating an aspiration nation and also backing the innovative, high-growth businesses of the future.

'That’s why 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.'

According to a statement, the new building will host classrooms, co-working spaces and workshops equipped with 3D printing technology.

Cameron added, 'This Government backs aspiration and innovation and has long recognised the potential of a world-leading technology cluster in London as a source of long-term growth for our economy.
 
'The presence of a globally renowned research university, together with a technology giant and a leading global publishing firm will further boost Tech City and will help us to compete and thrive in the global race.'

To coincide with the funding announcement, the government has also revealed a number of 'major corporate' commitments to Tech City.

Microsoft is set to establish a Technology Development Centre in Tech City and will help support local technology development.

Cisco, DC Thomson and UCL are opening IDEALondon, an 'innovation centre' in Shoreditch to support the growth of digital and media companies.

Phil Smith, CEO of Cisco UK and Ireland, adds, 'With the area fast becoming a hub for talented digital, technology and media businesses, creating an innovation centre in Tech City is a key element of Cisco’s British Innovation Gateway programme.

'It is great to be providing the thriving community with a facility which brings together the strength and expertise from an alliance of renowned leaders in these industries.'

One business which has chosen to relocate to the area following the government announcement is CareerBuilder.co.uk.

The online recruitment company is moving its UK offices to East London, meaning its sales, product development, human resources and finance teams will be in Tech City by the end of the year.

'The new office underpins our continued commitment to the UK market,' says Tony Roy, president of EMEA at CareerBuilder.

'It makes perfect sense for us to be located in an area that is steadily becoming the UK’s foremost technology business cluster.

'This move will allow us to enhance our strategic hub for product development, build on our culture and working practices, and provide us with access to the vibrant area that is already home to many new and established technology firms.'

More on Tech City:

According to the government, the Old Street roundabout regeneration project is expected to deliver:

  • 15-20 new jobs for core staff running the centre
  • Capacity to train 10,000 (growing to 50,000 as programmes scale) students in coding and enterprise through programmes such as Coder Camp, TeenTech, Computer Science for Fun and others
  • A 400-seat auditorium, boardrooms, labs and workspaces, a 3D printing centre and T4 broadband
  • 500 peer-to-peer education sessions for advanced skills development per year
  • In partnership with apprenticeship providers such as Renaisi and Hackney Community College, help 1,000 young people into skilled employment per year
  • Support the growth of Digital Shoreditch Festival to an audience of 200,000
  • Facilities to host inward investment missions and overseas trade delegations in partnership with UKTI and London & Partners
  • Advertising surface on the entirety of the exterior of the structure via a digital mesh