BoJo’s London PR firm admits it must avoid Tech City UK overlap


by Joe Curtis| 20 January 2014

But London & Partners and startup quango cross over enough to release identical statements.

London's main promotional body has admitted it must "eliminate duplication" with Tech City UK after claims emerged that it is due to take responsibility for the startup scene quango.

Tech City News alleged last week that London & Partners, the body funded by the Mayor of London's office, is set to take charge of Tech City UK's Silicon Roundabout publicity, claiming the quango's remit spills over into that of other initiatives.

And while London & Partners said Tech City would continue to promote Shoreditch, a spokesman conceded that both hold similar responsibilities around promoting London's technology industry - so much so that the two organisations gave CBR identical statements.

Two spokesmen representing the bodies both said: "Tech City UK will continue to promote London and the UK as the best place to establish a technology business.

"London & Partners will continue to promote London to inward investors, visitors, events organisers and students, including in high technology sectors.

"Our organisations will also continue to work extremely closely together to make the most of our resources and eliminate duplication."

The claims emerged on the same day that former Facebook exec Joanna Shields announced that she was stepping down from her role as Tech City UK CEO after just 15 months in the job.

She remains as chairwoman, and takes up a role as a non-executive director of the London Stock Exchange.

Shields is to be replaced by Blackberry's global marketing head, Gerard Grech, on February 3.

Grech, a Shoreditch resident, said: "My role, together with Joanna and the team, will be to help take things to the next level, delivering on key initiatives, introducing more partnerships and further solidifying Tech City in the international tech scene.

"I'm especially keen that our initiatives serve the wider local community, keeping the ground fertile for the next wave of digital startups."

Tech City UK was established in 2011 as Tech City Investment Organisation, with the responsibility of promoting London's startup scene and securing investment into it.

It made waves with some early headline-grabbing achievements, like Google's establishment of a base in the heart of the hub.

The quango is now understood to be focusing more on encouraging investment into startup scenes around the UK.

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