Lancashire network launches to make most of National Cyber Force HQ in the county

A Lancashire wide network is being launched to maximise opportunities from the government’s National Cyber Force to be based at Samlesbury.

By Tim Gavell
Monday, 21st February 2022, 2:22 pm
Updated Monday, 21st February 2022, 2:24 pm

The Lancashire Cyber Alliance launch event on February 22 will be held at the University of Central Lancashire’s new state-of-the-art Engineering Innovation Centre and online - with a welcome address from Vice-Chancellor Professor Graham Baldwin.

Speakers at the event will discuss how local businesses can make the most of this opportunity and will include a representative from a relevant government department which is planning significant growth in the North West.

Lancaster University is supporting the launch of the new network for organisations working in cyber security, following the announcement the government’s National Cyber Force will be located in Samlesbury.

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The LCA has been set up to foster collaboration among cyber security professionals and is open to organisations including SMEs, large businesses, skills providers and public sector organisations.

The LCA launch will also focus on Lancashire's importance in the North West Cyber Corridor, which takes in GCHQ’s Manchester headquarters, the NCF at Samlesbury, Lancaster University - the only university in the North West of England to be triple accredited for excellence in cyber education and research - and beyond.

Dion Williams, Associate Dean for Enterprise and Engagement and Director of Research, Enterprise and Innovation at Lancaster University, said: "The decision to locate the new National Cyber Force in Lancashire is worth billions of pounds to the local economy and it is important we build on this

government investment by creating a thriving regional innovation ecosystem through initiatives like the Lancashire Cyber Alliance (LCA).

"As with all these types of government investment, there is an imperative for private sector investment to come on board and do its bit to support the levelling up agenda.

“The LCA will be vital in enabling us to put together a picture of where our strengths and capacity lie within the sector, and give us a stronger voice when having discussions with government about the new opportunities on our doorstep.

“This kind of opportunity only comes along once in a generation and it is important we are ready to embrace it when it arrives.”

The LCA will also act as a spoke of the North West Cyber Security Cluster (NWCSC), which already supports the region’s ambitions around the sector.

Kerry Harrison, project lead for the Lancashire Digital Skills Partnership, said: “This is a great opportunity for cyber businesses in Lancashire to be at the forefront of developments in the area. Networking can provide excellent business opportunities for all involved.”

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