Feeds

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

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

Combat fraud and increase customer satisfaction

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. ®

3 Big data security analytics techniques

More from The Register

next story
This time it's 'Personal': new Office 365 sub covers just two devices
Redmond also brings Office into Google's back yard
Inside the Hekaton: SQL Server 2014's database engine deconstructed
Nadella's database sqares the circle of cheap memory vs speed
Oh no, Joe: WinPhone users already griping over 8.1 mega-update
Hang on. Which bit of Developer Preview don't you understand?
Microsoft lobs pre-release Windows Phone 8.1 at devs who dare
App makers can load it before anyone else, but if they do they're stuck with it
Half of Twitter's 'active users' are SILENT STALKERS
Nearly 50% have NEVER tweeted a word
Internet-of-stuff startup dumps NoSQL for ... SQL?
NoSQL taste great at first but lacks proper nutrients, says startup cloud whiz
IRS boss on XP migration: 'Classic fix the airplane while you're flying it attempt'
Plus: Condoleezza Rice at Dropbox 'maybe she can find ... weapons of mass destruction'
Ditch the sync, paddle in the Streem: Upstart offers syncless sharing
Upload, delete and carry on sharing afterwards?
New Facebook phone app allows you to stalk your mates
Nearby Friends feature goes live in a few weeks
prev story

Whitepapers

Top three mobile application threats
Learn about three of the top mobile application security threats facing businesses today and recommendations on how to mitigate the risk.
Combat fraud and increase customer satisfaction
Based on their experience using HP ArcSight Enterprise Security Manager for IT security operations, Finansbank moved to HP ArcSight ESM for fraud management.
The benefits of software based PBX
Why you should break free from your proprietary PBX and how to leverage your existing server hardware.
Five 3D headsets to be won!
We were so impressed by the Durovis Dive headset we’ve asked the company to give some away to Reg readers.
SANS - Survey on application security programs
In this whitepaper learn about the state of application security programs and practices of 488 surveyed respondents, and discover how mature and effective these programs are.