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Topic Title: E&T magazine - Debate - Is Manchester or London the UK's tech centre?
Topic Summary: Is Manchester or London at the heart of UK tech innovation?
Created On: 18 December 2013 10:44 AM
Status: Post and Reply
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 18 December 2013 10:44 AM
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jpwilson

Posts: 60
Joined: 16 May 2007

For:
Come to Manchester to be at the heart of UK tech innovation.

Against:
Come to Manchester to be at the heart of UK tech innovation.

The argument for:
The world in general tends to think of Manchester and the Midlands as having a heavy industry base and I think it is time to change that outlook. This might have been the case 40 or 50 years ago, but in the past two decades Manchester has been going through a massive renaissance. Visitors to the city are taken aback by the transformation it has been through, especially in sectors such as the Cloud. But technology is fluid and businesses need to re-invent themselves at least every three years. There is no sitting back on past glories in our industry. It's all about constant reinvention and innovation, while investment in young talent is the essential fuel for that transformation and growth.In the past 10 years we've had the BBC move up to Media City and we've established the Sharp Project in east Manchester. The Sharp Project provides a home for digital and technology entrepreneurs and production companies. Initiatives such as this hotbed of tech innovation are vital to the success of Manchester becoming the UK's leading tech city. Critically, Manchester has become the only place in the UK to have a high-speed Internet hub that doesn't rely on London to connect you to the outside world. We have our own links out to the US and Europe.

The argument against:
I've got no reason to oppose any city positioning itself as a great place to set up high-tech businesses. The development of technology today is such that it is very mobile and the future of the UK economy will be city-driven. I think everyone is clear about the idea that it will be cluster-based, and when you think about it there's no technological reason why any city in particular should have that much of an advantage. With broadband and Wi-Fi, our games developers, designers and other creative people can work anywhere. But the reason for London maintaining its edge over other cities is quite simply because of its pre-eminent economic and financial position. As the UK's capital, it is the largest city and it has a number of clusters already working well. These are strong and we are seeing that success breeds success. And so London's current competitive position is as influential as it has ever been.
 18 December 2013 11:13 AM
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oneye

Posts: 158
Joined: 25 February 2008

I like your arguments For: / Against:
Was it intentional or a Freudian Slip ?

You could argue that the heart of UK tech innovation could be almost anywhere like Milton Keynes but that would still be in the southern counties.

I would have thought Manchester's biggest advantage over London is economical..... and to follow the BBC - leave London to the tourists.
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