The Government's focus on technology as part of a £556 million investment into the North’s industrial future has been welcomed by the UK head of tech at accountants KPMG.

Tudor Aw said that investment in robotics, AI, smart energy and 5G is welcome but added that similar commitments would be needed in nano technology, autonomous vehicles and the Internet of Things.

Prime Minister Theresa May had earlier outlined her proposals for a 'modern industrial strategy'. 

“In a post-Brexit era, it is crucial that the UK tech sector is front and centre of the Government’s new industrial policy," Aw reflected.

"I am therefore delighted to see that key areas such as robotics, artificial intelligence, smart energy and 5G have been identified as areas that will underpin the Government’s approach. 

"The hope is that this is just the start and we will see other future disruptive technologies such as nano technology, autonomous vehicles and IoT - 'connected everything' - get similar focus and funding."

The cash boost, originally announced in the Autumn Statement, will fund the building of an International Advanced Manufacturing Park in Sunderland, which it is hoped will create 5,200 jobs, the Goole Intermodal Terminal, aimed at linking the east Yorkshire town’s existing rail, sea, motorway and waterway hubs, a 21st Century conference centre and hotel in Blackpool at the Winter Gardens plus flood resilience measures in Bradford, Calderdale, Craven, Kirklees and Leeds, among other projects.

“As has been long recognised, to be successful in tech, we desperately need to upskill our workforce in STEM (Science, Technology, Engineering and Maths) subjects and to see investment in these skills as well as in science, R&D and innovation is hugely promising,” added Aw.

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The Government also revealed how investment for the ‘Northern Powerhouse’ will be split between 11 local enterprise partnerships.

  • Greater Manchester £130.1m
  • Liverpool City Region £72.0m
  • Lancashire £69.8m
  • Leeds City Region £67.5m
  • North Eastern £49.7m
  • Cheshire and Warrington £43.3m
  • Sheffield City Region £37.8m
  • Humber £27.9m
  • York, North Yorkshire, East Riding £23.7m
  • Tees Valley £21.8m
  • Cumbria £12.7m

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