New boss Richard Gregory says Tech North’s relationship with parent organisation Tech City UK is “good”.

Gregory replaces Claire Braithwaite at the head of Tech North, which was formed by the former Coalition Government to drive the growth of the North of England’s digital economy.

Many reports have found that the digital sector is key to the success of the Northern Powerhouse project

Braithwaite unexpectedly quit her role last January just six months after launch, with media reports claiming differences with London-based Tech City UK over its increasing control over Tech North’s activities.

Herb Kim, chair of Tech North’s advisory board, took interim control – and has now handed over the reins.

 

Gregory knows the Northern tech scene inside-out. He spent 12 years building up North West-based Latitude Digital Marketing into one of the UK’s largest agencies and co-founded the Search, Analytics and Social Conference (SAScon) at Manchester Metropolitan University.

He was elected to the Manchester Digital Council in 2015 and is chairman of Liverpool-based tech start-up Ruler Analytics.

He told BusinessCloud he is “absolutely fine” with the way Tech North works and adds: “It is about working together. The relationship has got to work and everyone wants it to work.

“It is a good relationship at the moment. I don’t believe we compete with London; we should be looking out to Europe and internationally.

“We have got a team and an industry that is doing well. I am really excited about the community in the North.

“We are just here to help the industry. We know we can grow faster and we want to help people to do that.”

Claire Braithwaite, former Tech North head

Braithwaite has since gone on to take the role of tech advisor at the Manchester Growth Company.

Outgoing digital minister Ed Vaizey told BusinessCloud that the cities of the North must work together to thrive.

The full interview with Richard Gregory will feature in issue 3 of BusinessCloud in October.