Tech hubs and quantum computing expected in budget

Tech hubs and quantum computing are two of the major investments into UK technology that are thought to be on the cards for today’s Spring statement by Chancellor of the Exchequer Jeremy Hunt. 

It is expected that Mr Hunt will reveal the development of 12 ‘investment zones’ based around universities and designated as low-tax areas to drive forward growth in key sectors such as technology and manufacturing. 

Each zone will reportedly be funded by £80m in support from the government in a scaled-down version of a similar plan by Liz Truss during her short-lived tenure as Prime Minister which saw hundreds of councils bid against each other before the plan was scrapped after Ms Truss resigned over her failed mini-budget.

20 pounds bank of england

Eight areas have already been designated to host one of the investment zones with the government apparently working with Scotland, Wales and Northern Ireland to determine the other four locations. 

The eight already confirmed areas are reported by the Independent as being: East Midlands, Greater Manchester, Liverpool City, North East, South Yorkshire, Tees Valley, West Midlands, and West Yorkshire. 

Reports have also come about a £2.5bn investment into quantum computing, expanding on the existing £1bn National Quantum Technologies Programme, as part of Mr Hunt’s ambitions to create the ‘next Silicon Valley’ in the UK. 

Utilising the National Quantum Computing Centre, the plan will be laid out over 10 years with the Financial Times reporting that more details will be unveiled by Mr Hunt during his budget. 

Quantum computers are those which use subatomic particles that can exist in multiple states, allowing the machines to conduct various calculations at the same time, as opposed to the more linear processes of current computers. 

This could potentially allows for the machines to easily outdo the power of existing technology but currently the tech is experimental with errors often outputted by the computers. Many start-ups, large tech firms and governments, namely the US and China, are working on the technology with the UK leading the number of quantum start-ups in Europe. 

The announcements would come on the heels of the Department for Science, Innovation and Technology’s framework to place the UK as a leading superpower in science and tech, with £9m put into a quantum computing research centre in Daresbury.

Photo by Colin Watts


Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

Help us break the news – share your information, opinion or analysis
Back to top