Cisco Makes £650m UK Investment Pledge

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Funding to create jobs, invest in UK companies and aid education as part of new Cisco investment programme

Cisco is to invest $1 billion (£650m) in the UK through job creation, startup assistance and acquisition, and education, promising its programme will provide significant benefits to the British economy.

The UK is the networking giant’s second largest country in terms of operations with 7,000 employees and builds on a previous $500 million (£325m) pledge in 2011, which it claims generated $5 billion worth of ‘technology and manpower’ for the country.

“We believe the UK is well on its way to becoming one of the top digitized countries in the world, and we’re proud to once again activate new programmes and continue our deep commitment to partnering with the UK government,” said Cisco CEO John Chambers, who is set to step down from his position later this year.

UK investment

John Chambers Cisco“Since 2011 we have delivered over and above on every objective we set with government in our prior commitments – encouraging technology, innovation and entrepreneurship. Through the British Innovation Gateway (BIG) initiative, we have supported the government’s ambition to create world class technology hubs across the country, generate jobs, diversify the economy and support sustainable growth.

“Today, we are pleased to make our next series of strategic commitments, totalling over $1 billion, to support the next phase of the UK’s digitisation plans.”

Cisco is set to open a new ‘state of the art’ office in London before the end of the year, creating 250 ‘high value’ jobs. However despite this commitment to capital, the company says it plans to help the government re-balance the economy away from the south towards the north with new apprenticeships, training programmes and academic collaborations.

A new £96 million fund will invest in startups creating Internet of Things (IoT) applications in areas deemed to be of importance to both Cisco and the UK, including the finance retail and health sectors, while the firm has also set aside capital to acquire UK-based companies to supplement its recent spending spree.

Government approval

Further startup support will be provided through expansions to the BIG and NetAcademy programmes. Cisco also wants to help improve IT skills and the teaching of STEM (Science Technology Maths and Engineering) subjects to help close any skill gap and will invest in cybersecurity.

Cisco’s outgoing CEO John Chambers his replacement Chuck Robbins and UK and Ireland country manager Phil Smith met with Prime Minister David Cameron at Downing Street today to announce the latest stage in the firm’s ‘country digitalisation programme’.

Chambers, his replacement Chuck Robbins and UK and Ireland country manager Phil Smith met with David Cameron at Downing Street today, with the UK leader welcoming the investment.

“This massive investment from Cisco is great news for the UK’s growing digital economy and is a clear vote of confidence in our long term economic plan,” said Cameron. “It will create jobs and growth across the country, providing security for hard working people.

The Conservatives had pledged to make the UK the “technology centre of Europe” prior to their General Election victory in May, but despite this, there was virtually no mention of tech in the Chancellor’s 2015 Summer Budget earlier this week.

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