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Tech Nation to cease operations following funding withdrawal

Joe Bevan
Authored by Joe Bevan
Posted: Tuesday, January 31, 2023 - 13:34

Tech Nation, the government-backed supporter of the UK tech ecosystem, has today announced that it will cease operations from 31 March 2023.

The news follows a controversial decision last year by the UK government to award a £12.09m Digital Growth Grant to Barclays tech incubator Eagle Labs instead of the non-profit Tech Nation.

Tech Nation has described the closure as “a direct result of the DCMS grant withdrawal”.

The government’s withdrawal of Tech Nation’s core funding, announced in September last year, was met with alarm in some corners of the ecosystem. Digital policy think tank The Coalition for a Digital Economy (Coadec) submitted an open letter to the government stating that “providers of government-backed support should be grounded in the startup ecosystem and local ecosystems across the country - not looking to ride on its coattails.” The letter was signed by more than 140 UK tech founders, executives and investors.

A communiqué circulated by Tech Nation today states: “Tech Nation’s core grant funding from DCMS is being awarded to Barclays Bank. With this foundation removed, Tech Nation’s remaining activities are not viable on a standalone basis.”

The message continues: “As a government-backed national asset, Tech Nation has delivered one of the best ROIs for the taxpayer, delivering £15 return on every £1 funded by the UK Government. 

“We have exhaustively explored whether Tech Nation could continue without core government grant funding, but have concluded after extensive consultation that this is not an option.”

Tech Nation was founded under the coalition government to support the growth of the UK tech sector, with 95% of startups on the organisation’s accelerator programs having gone on to scale, according to the Public Interest company.

“Though we are closing our doors with sadness”, a Tech Nation spokesperson said, “we are proud to be handing over a UK tech sector transformed.”

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