TechNorth will be part of Tech City UK, and is being set up to coordinate the existing digital technology expertise of Manchester, Leeds, Sheffield, Liverpool and the North East tech cluster.
The government hopes that TechNorth will do what Tech City has done for east London, putting the north of England on the international map as a destination for technology companies and startups.
“There is a clear need for us to seize an opportunity to capitalise on existing tech talent by creating a northern tech hub to rival Berlin, New York or Shanghai,” said the Deputy Prime Minister at an event in Sheffield.
“My ambition, over time, is to double the number of tech jobs in the North, creating a stronger economy.”
Working with UKTI, TechNorth hopes to attract inward investors in the tech industry to the north, and support existing tech businesses to grow by pooling ideas and resources. Plans will involve inspiring a tech-savvy workforce and working with startups to help them source the funding capital they need.
“As a first step, I can confirm government will be investing in an organisation that promotes TechNorth internationally to encourage global businesses to invest here,” added Clegg.
“Alongside this, TechNorth will look at the case for investment in digital skills to ensure these companies have a local pool of talented people and have access to the finance they need to grow.”
Currently, it is estimated that collectively, Manchester, Leeds, Sheffield, Liverpool and the North East tech cluster have over 20,000 businesses in the tech, media and telecoms industries, employing some 200,000 people.