Minister of State for Digital and Culture Matt Hancock MP this week visited UKFast Campus for discussions with leading figures from the Manchester tech and digital community.
The discussion, hosted by the MP and UKFast CEO Lawrence Jones MBE, included leaders from businesses including Social Chain, GP Bullhound, SkyBet and Jigsaw Medical, as well as fellow cloud firm ANS.
The leaders shared frank, productive exchanges about the big issues affecting tech in the North. Brexit, skills, the government’s new Digital Strategy and the funding and autonomy of Tech North were also on the agenda.
Jones said: “It’s easy to be sceptical about yet another lengthy Digital Strategy document with no prospect of imminent change, so it’s great to see the government building the momentum and connecting with digital entrepreneurs in the North West. It’s the entrepreneurs of this region who are driving the growth it’s currently experiencing.
“What we’re seeing in Manchester is that there’s an expanding network of fast-growing digital businesses with close links to the world-class educational institutions in the city, like Manchester Metropolitan University.
“For anybody looking to create a startup, Manchester is now the number one place thanks to its community, its connectivity and cheaper overheads. Costs are becoming more and more of a factor for new tech businesses in London, so the opportunity for us in the North West is massive.
“We can continue to ensure that growth only if Manchester has the right skills coming through to fit the demand of growing businesses. I’m confident Matt has the ability to help us deliver these skills.”
The minister took the opportunity to be among the first guests to ride UKFast’s helter-skelter, which was unveiled last week. The new 71ft. flume runs from the top floor networking area of the award-winning UKFast Campus to the ground floor reception.