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Brighton’s “Silicon Beach” promised £170m investment to trigger tech growth

Brighton could become the country’s next big “tech cluster” after a £170 million deal was rubber-stamped by the UK government to drive investment into the city.

Related: Beyond Tech City: why UK startups should look outside East London

The Greater Brighton City Deal is designed to drive what the government referred to as the “Silicon Beach” and enable it to compete with the likes of London, Tel Aviv and California’s Silicon Valley.

"Brighton's tech cluster has grown from very little 10 years ago to having 1,500 businesses today. It's already making a huge impact on Brighton's economic performance, and this City Deal will help accelerate its growth by ensuring that it can provide the space and infrastructure for high-value creative-technological businesses to grow. It can help turn Brighton into one of the most prosperous cities in the UK,” said Greg Clark, Cities Minister.

Private investment will form the brunt of the money by providing £155 million with £6.7 million from central government and a further £9.8 million added by the local public sector.

It’s thought that the investment will help to bring 8,500 jobs to the area as well as give the city’s businesses cheaper and faster broadband prices. The cheaper prices will come from the creation of a “Digital Exchange” that will allow companies to use combined buying power to procure broadband at reduced prices.

“This City Deal puts power in the hands of local people who know best what skills are needed in the area to give it a real chance of changing the fortunes of thousands of people in and around Brighton,” stated Deputy Prime Minister Nick Clegg, according to Tech World.

Related: Top 25 Tech City influencers in 2013 named

The Greater Brighton area covers the city itself as well as Lewes, Mid Sussex, and other nearby coastal towns such as Newhaven, Shoreham and Worthing.

Image Credit: Flickr (Frankly PM)