Last updated: August 3, 2012 11:54 am

Osborne unveils technology investments

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A new Tom Cruise blockbuster will be filmed in the UK, creating 500 jobs, George Osborne, the British chancellor, said on Friday as he announced a string of technology investments.

All you need is kill, a science fiction thriller, will be made at Warner Bros’ £100m studios near Watford, on the edge of London.

Speaking at a business summit held to help London capitalise on the Olympics, Mr Osborne urged technology companies to invest in the UK.

He unveiled a boost to east London’s Tech City with investments from Vodafone, Barclays and Gree, the Japanese gaming company.

“Taken together, these investment represent a triple whammy for Tech City,” he said. “You will not find a country anywhere in the world that is more open to technology, more open to investment and more open to business.”

The investments come just days after Amazon, the US internet services company, and Facebook, the social networking business, announced developments in the capital. Although the Facebook and Amazon sites are outside the Tech City area, they have helped promote the idea that London can attract the world’s biggest digital companies.

Mr Osborne, who has sought to be closely associated with the Tech City project, announced a number of investments near Old Street’s “Silicon Roundabout”, including a technology lab built by Vodafone.

Barclays will provide funding to Central Working, which provides office space to start-up companies, aimed at helping foster 22,000 new businesses over the next five years. The size of Barclays’ investment was not disclosed.

Gree, the Japanese mobile games company, is planning a development studio and Morning Boost, an Italian business accelerator company with a £5m fund to support start-ups, will open an office and create 50 jobs.

This year Google made a multimillion investment in Tech City when it opened its Campus building, where start-up businesses can access inexpensive or even free office space.

The government has been keen to position Tech City as Europe’s answer to Silicon Valley, granting tax breaks for investments and seeking to reduce red tape for start-ups. However, London faces tough competition from places such as Dublin and Berlin which also have a vibrant start-up scene, and there are complaints among entrepreneurs that strict immigration rules are holding back UK-based technology companies’ ability to grow.

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