By Jonathan Davies

Claire Braithwaite has been appointed the first ever head of Tech North, an initiative launched by Tech City UK to build tech hubs outside of London.

Claire joins the organisation from Clearly So, a corporate finance advisory firm for social enterprises that are looking to raise investment, and will be putting a team in place to drive these efforts.

Herb Kim, founder and CEO of Newcastle’s Thinking Digital and non-executive board director for Tech City UK, has been appointed to the executive chair of the Tech North Advisory Board.

The move to appoint Ms Braithwaite represents a big step forward for women in the industry. The tech industry has been criticised over sexism and a general lack of women, particularly in leadership roles.

Tech North will focus on Manchester and Newcastle, with teams also working in Hull, Leeds, Liverpool, Sheffield and Sunderland.

The initiative will receive a budget of around £2 million a year, similar to Tech City UK in east London.