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Government

Cyber Force in Lancashire

The National Cyber Force as announced last November by Prime Minister Boris Johnson as part of the Integrated Review, will be based in Samlesbury, near Preston, Lancashire. The government agency GCHQ already has an office in Manchester and the city is described by the Government as Europe’s fastest growing major tech cluster, with more than 15pc of Manchester’s population employed by the digital, creative and technology sector.

The NCF draws together personnel from intelligence, cyber and security agency GCHQ, the Ministry of Defence (MoD), the Secret Intelligence Service (MI6) and the Defence Science and Technology Laboratory (DSTL), under one command for the first time. Offensive cyber operations are defined as those which can disrupt hostile state activities, terrorists and criminals threatening the UK’s national security – from countering terror plots to conducting military operations.

Defence Secretary Ben Wallace said: “The National Cyber Force located in Samlesbury will embrace exciting new offensive cyber technologies and provide thousands of highly skilled jobs and expertise to the North West. I am hugely proud and enthusiastic to see this happen, not only will it provide a catalyst for investment, but also see our levelling up agenda bring economic stimulus and tangible benefits to this region.”

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Lancaster University Prof Andy Schofield, who attended the government’s launch of the NCF, said: “As a flagship data and cyber security institution Lancaster University welcomes the start of the levelling up agenda coming to the North West and we are determined to build on the opportunities it attracts.

“As an anchor institution, Lancaster University is essential to the economic strength of our region. This development enables us to escalate delivery on the UK Government Innovation Strategy for mission-led science by bringing in and retaining talent and skills while supporting the meaningful growth and prosperity of the North.

“Our existing research expertise and investment, coupled with today’s announcement, opens the door to a new and ambitious programme of growth for Lancaster’s data and cyber research. We look forward to ongoing staff and stakeholder discussions as this exciting opportunity develops.”


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