Feeds

London 'Tech City' quango burns through £1m on admin

The Silicon roundabout - it's a nonstop social whirl!

Security for virtualized datacentres

The taxpayer-funded quango given the job of rebranding and promoting the nontrepreneurs of Shoreditch has blown through £1m on admin costs alone in a year.

'Tech City' is the brainchild of No.10 special advisor Rohan Silva. It's also the name of the eponymous unit within UKTI, a taxpayer-funded quango, that's been set up to promote 'Silicon Roundabout' web companies. UKTI has refused requests to reveal the costs of the vanity venture, and the salaries of those involved.

Now, thanks to a FOIA request from Milo Yiannopolous we know some budget details.

The Tech City Initiative has so far cost £1.79m, we learn, with "business specialists" bleeding the taxpayer for the majority of it: £1.171m including expenses.

Marketing has cost £150,000 and "events and other promotional activities" £250,000. Since the entire purpose of being a nontrepreneur is to attend meetups and parties, that's an important part of the budget. The civil servants add the rest of the cost.

The sum excludes money spent on Shoreditch's finest overseas, and other money poured into the Black Hole of Old Street by other government departments and quangos, such as the Technology Strategy Board.

And some FOIA requests were refused flat out: PA Consulting and Grant Thornton declined to reveal salaries of their consultants and BIS refused to disclose the salary of Eric Van der Kleij, the "CEO" of Tech City.

It's your money - but they won't tell you how much is being spent.

One of these men takes public money and doesn't do any work. The other is Prince Andrew.

Tech City has already come under fire for spending almost £50,000 on a basic Wordpress blog and getting things seriously wrong on its map of the area. Also for claiming that 400 new tech firms have launched in the area - but using a definition of "tech firm" that includes clothes shops, law firms, dance studios and marketing agencies.

Tech City said these still technology companies, because they were "part of the digital movement".

Cutting red-tape and strengthening IP are proven ways of encouraging private investment into startups. But not in the hyperreal, fantasy world that policy advisors inhabit.

Party on, everyone. ®

Beginner's guide to SSL certificates

More from The Register

next story
Microsoft on the Threshold of a new name for Windows next week
Rebranded OS reportedly set to be flung open by Redmond
Business is back, baby! Hasta la VISTA, Win 8... Oh, yeah, Windows 9
Forget touchscreen millennials, Microsoft goes for mouse crowd
SMASH the Bash bug! Apple and Red Hat scramble for patch batches
'Applying multiple security updates is extremely difficult'
Apple: SO sorry for the iOS 8.0.1 UPDATE BUNGLE HORROR
Apple kills 'upgrade'. Hey, Microsoft. You sure you want to be like these guys?
ARM gives Internet of Things a piece of its mind – the Cortex-M7
32-bit core packs some DSP for VIP IoT CPU LOL
Lotus Notes inventor Ozzie invents app to talk to people on your phone
Imagine that. Startup floats with voice collab app for Win iPhone
'Google is NOT the gatekeeper to the web, as some claim'
Plus: 'Pretty sure iOS 8.0.2 will just turn the iPhone into a fax machine'
prev story

Whitepapers

A strategic approach to identity relationship management
ForgeRock commissioned Forrester to evaluate companies’ IAM practices and requirements when it comes to customer-facing scenarios versus employee-facing ones.
Storage capacity and performance optimization at Mizuno USA
Mizuno USA turn to Tegile storage technology to solve both their SAN and backup issues.
High Performance for All
While HPC is not new, it has traditionally been seen as a specialist area – is it now geared up to meet more mainstream requirements?
Beginner's guide to SSL certificates
De-mystify the technology involved and give you the information you need to make the best decision when considering your online security options.
Security for virtualized datacentres
Legacy security solutions are inefficient due to the architectural differences between physical and virtual environments.