Several of the UK's largest tech clusters in the North of England (TechNorth) got a boost today after chancellor George Osborne announced an £11 million investment to help build incubators across three of the region’s largest cities.

Government said it expects the private sector to contribute an additional £32 million to the incubator projects. 

Manchester is one of the cities government wants to put at the forefront of the UK sharing economy ©Flickr/Stacey MacNaught
Manchester is one of the cities government wants to put at the forefront of the UK sharing economy ©Flickr/Stacey MacNaught

The Maker Hub in Sheffield is being given £3.5 million in order to fund the renovation of a former Co-Op department store, while Leeds Future Lab is receiving £3.7 million in order to turn a derelict police headquarters in the city centre into a six-floor incubator.

Meanwhile, Manchester’s Northern Quarter is set to get an eight-floor incubator with the help of a £4 million funding grant.

Tech incubators are designed to foster collaboration between startups, while also providing them with mentoring and business support.  

The government said the money will go towards supporting more than 170,000 people that are now working in digital business in the North.

It’s hoped the incubators will create “thriving” local ecosystems in each of the cities that could one day compete with London’s Tech City.

 Minister for digital economy Ed Vaizey said: “Manchester, Leeds and Sheffield have already shown that they are playing a key role in the development of the digital economy.

 “Together with the TechNorth programme announced last year, these new hubs will bring tech entrepreneurs under one roof to share and develop their talents and ideas.

“This investment will unlock millions of pounds in private funding in the north of England, helping businesses to create jobs and grow.”

Tudor Aw, KPMG technology sector head, said: "The £11 million investment to boost tech hubs and incubators throughout the UK is terrific news and a real boon to the sector.

“KPMG's recent Tech Monitor revealed that while tech start up activity is at all time high, it remains highly concentrated in London. It is critical that we do more to encourage tech hubs in other key cities and this investment is an important step towards this.

“Encouragingly, our research also shows that UK tech start-ups have a high two year survival rate of 82 percent, much higher than the UK average of 76 percent, so this should be money well spent by the chancellor.”