Cameron’s vision for East End tech hub hailed by academics

DAVID Cameron’s vow to turn the East End into a high-tech Mecca will be a “great boost to the local economy”, academics have said.

The Prime Minister announced plans to pump millions into tech industries from Shoreditch to the Olympic Park over the next few years as he visited the area on Thursday.

Academics from Queen Mary university, in Mile End Road, say the cash could turn Tower Hamlets into a world leader in high-tech business – because the ground is already fertile.

Dr Ian Llewellyn, of Queen Mary, said the funds will result in “more and better jobs.”

He added: “There’s been a big difference in the local environment in recent years.

“Everything is much more positive. There are a lot of students and important research into these areas at Queen Mary.

“All industries have the high tech component now.”

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Professor Patrick Healey, also from Queen Mary, said the East End has one of the biggest clusters of social software and digital advertising companies in Europe.

Everything from music production, broadcasting and the arts rely on the most up-to-date technology.

Professor Healey explained: “The creative sector employs more people than the financial services.

“A lot of companies want people with technical and creative skills now. We have composers, creative writers and designers on our courses.

“There’s a huge range of areas where technology is becoming more critical.”

Mr Cameron compared his vision for the East End with California’s Silicone Valley.

He said: “I think it’s clear that in the east of London we have the potential to create one of the world’s most dynamic environments.

“We can make one of the world’s great technology centres.”

Global giants Google and Intel are said to be setting up centres for research in the East End.

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