Stirling Council is launching a £25 million tech fund to turn the city into the UK’s next tech hub.
In conjunction with ESM Investments the new fund is designed to attract tech companies to the Scottish city. Investors will attend a launch event next week at the city’s new Codebase facility. The long term aim is to make Stirling a region that can rival Edinburgh and Glasgow.
A recent survey of 69 cities across the UK named Stirling as the best city in Scotland to start a new business, with a focus on its global connectivity and highly competitive costs. Stewart Carruth, the council’s chief executive, believes the initiative will be a key to growing the city. He said: “We believe the fund will help businesses, both in Stirling and outside of the region, to realise their ambitions for growth. It will provide encouragement to local scale-up companies to continue growing their businesses, thereby creating sustainable employment. It will also enable entrepreneurs outside of the area to consider Stirlingshire as a location to establish or scale-up their businesses to the next level, thereby creating new inward investment. It builds on the foundations of the City Region Deal and is a catalyst in terms of retaining and attracting talent to Stirling.
He added: “Stirling has great potential. We have a strong pipeline of talent – digital employees of the future – through well-established collaboration between industry, Stirling Council and our partners. My vision is for us to become an economic and cultural powerhouse that can compete globally”.
Technology hubs outside of London have been growing over the past few years, with many cities specialising in different niche areas. For example, Reading and Liverpool are leaders in the internet of things (IoT). Meanwhile Coventry and Aberdeen topped the leaderboard for manufacturing and Cardiff has also been identified as showing ‘early signs of an emerging virtual reality innovation cluster’.
Last month, The city of Newcastle announced that it is bidding to become a ‘world leader’ in construction technologies such as BIM, virtual reality, smart cities and cloud computing. In partnership with Northumbria University, tech initiative Dynamo is set to unveil plans for a £40 million centre that will see the North East lead the world in the development of smart city technology.