Tech City UK, an organisation which helps tech startups in London, had its government funding cut after its Chair Baroness Joanna Shields fell out with part of the government, Techworld reports.
Baroness Shields, who previously ran Google and Facebook’s presences in Europe, is Prime Minister David Cameron’s Digital Advisor. She also serves as chair of Tech City UK, which works to support the UK tech sector.
Techworld’s report claims that a “rift” between Shields and UK Trade & Investment (UKTI), the part of the government that looks after Tech City UK, led to a cut in funding for the organisation. UKTI had been providing Tech City UK with an annual budget of £2 million.
The funding cut reportedly forced Tech City UK to seek funding from sources other than the government. PwC, KPMG and Jones Lang LaSalle are thought to be new backers of Tech City. But it has also secured funding from Innovate UK, a public body that provides grants aimed at helping British businesses.
Tech City UK has seen a wave of negative press recently. Techworld reported that it had struggled to hand out its allocation of special Visas to tech employees coming into the UK from abroad, only managing to grant seven instead of its allocation of 200. And multiple London technology companies spoke out against Tech City UK in a Financial Times article that was critical of the organisation.
We reached out to Tech City UK for comment on this post and will update if we hear back.