TechNorth, an initiative that aims to join up five cities and promote the tech scene in the North of England, is to be headquartered in Manchester.

The iniaitive, unveiled by deputy prime minister Nick Clegg in Sheffield last October, will aim to coordinate the existing digital technology expertise of Manchester, Leeds, Sheffield, Liverpool and Newcastle.

Manchester's Northern Quarter ©Flickr/Stacey MacNaught
Manchester's Northern Quarter ©Flickr/Stacey MacNaught

It will also aim to attract inward investment to the North, while supporting the 20,000 existing tech firms in the region through pooling ideas and resources. Further, it It will be tasked with up-skilling the region's workforce and working with startups to help them access the funding they need.

According to the BBC, the headquarters of TechNorth will be located in the Northern Quarter of Manchester, which shares many characteristics with Old Street, the fashionable part of London home to many of the city's tech startups. 

TechNorth is being led by the government’s Tech City UK organisation, which published a report yesterday highlighting how several tech clusters outside London are thriving, including Manchester

There are currently several TechNorth jobs being advertised on the Tech City UK website.

A Tech City UK spokesman was unable to confirm when the Manchester office will open.

It is also unclear how much the government is investing in the TechNorth initiative. 

Nick Clegg said: “We’ve listened to local business leaders and there is a clear need for us to seize an opportunity to capitalise on existing tech talent by creating a Northern tech hub to rival Berlin, New York, or Shanghai.

“My ambition, over time, is to double the number of tech jobs in the North, creating a stronger economy. To put this in context – it is estimated there are about 200,000 ICT jobs in the region currently.

“Time is of the essence, so I’m in Sheffield today to bring creative minds from across the North together so that we can grow this from an idea into reality.

“As a first step, I am announcing the creation of TechNorth, an agency tasked with promoting a world-class tech cluster spanning five cities in the North.”