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UK high tech development threatened

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High tech development in the whole of the UK could be impeded if the planning of Silicon Fen is mishandled, according to research published this week.

In The Cambridge Phenomenon Revisited, Segal Quince Wicksteed researchers warn that greater clarity is needed from the government about what the public sector is planning for Cambridge.

The report says: "Although there are positive signs with respect to government policies and thinking, unless these are translated quickly into action, there is the danger that business confidence will be damaged. Greater clarity...is urgently required."

The public infrastructure - such as public transport and roads - was seen as the biggest problem in the area. More investment was needed, the report said, to avoid congestion and pollution.

Cambridge is known for being home to much of the recent proliferation of technology firms in the UK. The study says the factors behind its success include the clever types graduating from Cambridge University and culture of entreprenurship and science. This also helped attract big companies like Microsoft to the area.

Inadequate planning could stop the cluster of businesses developing as strongly as it could, the report warns. This would have negative effects on the rest of the country. Any loss of momentum in the growth in the area would reflect badly on the UK as a technology location. ®

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