It's official: Tech Nation, a decade-old organisation dedicated to embedding and scaling up the tech ecosystem in the UK, will cease operations on March 31, 2023. This announcement comes after the UK government terminated its grant funding, leaving the future of the global talent visa in the tech sector uncertain.
For the past ten years, Tech Nation has been instrumental in driving the growth of the UK's tech industry, with scaleups creating over 90% of all tech jobs and boosting investment, productivity, exports, and regional success. With a 95% success rate in helping startups on its accelerator programs scale, Tech Nation has been a crucial player in the UK's tech scene.
However, in September 2022, the Department for Digital, Culture, Media and Sport awarded a £12 million grant to Barclays Bank instead. The Digital Growth Grant was established to support the UK's digital tech sector, grow regional support networks, and help scale up businesses to advance the UK's agenda of becoming a global startup hub. The award of the Digital Growth Grant to Barclays Bank instead of Tech Nation may indicate the government's direction for growing global talent in the tech sector is moving towards fintech.
While Barclays Bank's tech branch, Eagle Labs, has been awarded the grant for two years and has worked with startups across the UK, it will not be taking over Tech Nation's role of administering the global talent visa. The current situation with the Home Office leaves the future of digital technology endorsement uncertain. With no new endorsing body identified, it's unclear when a decision will be made and announced to the public. For those seeking a Global Talent endorsement in this field, it's recommended to take action and apply as soon as possible to avoid potential delays.
Our team has been in communication with both the Home Office and Tech Nation regarding the future of the Global Talent Visa Endorsement for the digital technology sector. Tech Nation has reassured us that they will continue processing endorsement applications beyond March 31, 2023. We are also in discussions with the Home Office to gather more information on the future structure of the Global Talent Visa for digital technology. Despite the closure of Tech Nation, there will be no negative impact on those who currently hold endorsements when applying for an extension or settlement.
Stay tuned for updates as the situation develops.