Comment on Business Live article (3/7/19)

Today (Wed 3rd July 2019) an article has been published on Business Live that implies that our Chief Executive, David Dunn, has criticised Tech Nation during a meeting at 10 Downing Street.

We feel that the article takes the report it references out of context and would like to clarify several points.

Firstly, the nature of the meeting with senior officials at Number 10 was to discuss a number of issues relating to the development of regional tech clusters across the UK. Among the agenda items was the presentation of a report, titled Grass roots report to central government on issues and  opportunities in our regions. This report was commissioned to provide insight into current attitudes and opinions of technology businesses UK-wide.

The report was written with input from tech cluster organisations based across the UK. These organisations work directly with digital SMEs in their area and were therefore able to discuss common issues, concerns, questions and opportunities they have been made aware during their daily work. As such, the report does not reflect solely the views of David Dunn and the Sunderland Software City team but rather an aggregated, and useful, view of a broad range of clusters.

We would like to stress that we have an ongoing relationship with Tech Nation and are supportive of their work locally. We particularly admire the work that the North East regional engagement manager, Jamie Hardesty, has done since being appointed.

While the report does reference Tech Nation, and repeats messages given to Tech Nation senior staff in person, this is a very small part of a much larger paper and should not be taken out of context. The full report can now be downloaded here.

The UK Tech Cluster Group is a self-assembled group of individuals and organisations that represent geographical clusters of technology and digital businesses across the UK. The group meets regularly to discuss issues affecting regional technology clusters and highlight opportunities at both a regional and national level. It is an important, and positive, step to ensuring grass roots feedback is listened to and the group is happy to work alongside Tech Nation for the good of the UK technology sector. 

Any questions should be directed to Laura Richards, Head of Communications.