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London's tech sector to boost UK economy by £12bn over next decade

Capital's tech scene to be showcased this week through London Tech Week

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London’s burgeoning tech sector will contribute an additional £12 billion to the overall economy during the next decade, Mayor of London Boris Johnson will announce today marking the start of London Tech Week.

The capital’s tech sector is also forecast to create 46,000 new jobs by 2024 in areas such as computer programming and consultancy, according to research by Oxford Economics. London currently employs 155,600 people in the sector.

“Tech Week is a superb opportunity to hail the success of London’s tech sector, which despite only being in adolescence already makes a tremendous contribution to our economy and is outperforming our rivals around the globe,” said Johnson.

“We forecast that [it] will generate a whopping £12bn of economic activity and 46,000 new jobs in the capital over the next decade.”

Boris Johnson will outline his vision for London’s technology sector this morning as he kicks off London Tech Week alongside the likes of former New York mayor Michael Bloomberg, Sequoia Capital chairman Sir Michael Moritz and Tech City UK chair Joanna Shields.

London Tech Week will play host to over 200 events and attract over 30,000 tech entrepreneurs, investors and developers, according to Boris Johnson’s promotional office, London & Partners. Attendees will hear from some of the world’s biggest tech companies, including Microsoft, Samsung, Google, Eventbrite and Yammer, as well as home-grown successes, such as Mind Candy and Hassle.

Separate research by South Mountain Economics and supported by Bloomberg Philanthropies – also released today – says that the tech and information sector in London, Southeast and East England – including Oxford and Cambridge – is growing faster than that of California. Its analysis also reveals that London is the world leader in financial technology, employing more workers in the sector than New York City and Silicon Valley.

Yesterday eight major tech firms, including Microsoft, Virgin Media and Capgemini, marked the start of London Tech Week by pledging to take on nearly 2,000 new apprentices in London by 2016.

The government has been championing London's technology scene over the last three years, largely through the Tech City UK quango. In December 2012, prime minister David Cameron pledged to spend £50 million regenerating Old Street's "Silicon Roundabout", which arguably sits at the core of the city's tech scene. However, the Treasury is yet to release the funds because City Hall has failed to submit appropriate plans.



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