South Ribble leader welcomes announcement of National Cyber Force HQ coming to Samlesbury as "great news."

Plans to site the UK's new £5bn digital warfare centre in Samlesbury has been welcomed with open arms by the leader of South Ribble Council.

Sunday, 3rd October 2021, 4:04 pm
Lancashire's Enterprise Zone, next to BAE Systems at Samlesbury, could be the site of the UK's new cyber HQ.

Coun Paul Foster described the announcement as "great news for South Ribble and one of the single biggest infrastructure investments we will have ever had."

He added: "It will create thousands of jobs and is a massive vote of confidence in the skilled workforce we have in our borough.

“It is a real boost as we start to look ahead to the recovery from the pandemic as it will have a real positive benefit for the local economy and it shows the work we have been doing to make South Ribble a place where people want to invest is paying off.

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“The GCHQ perform an important role in keeping our country safe and I look forward to my meeting to my meeting with the Government to drive this forward tomorrow as we learn more about the exciting plans.”

Defence Secretary Den Wallace announced the move in an article in the Sunday Telegraph ahead of the Conservative Party Conference in Manchester.

It is understood the new National Cyber Force headquarters will be sited on the Lancashire Enterprise Zone next door to the Samlesbury plant of BAE Systems.

Lancashire MPs have been lobbying the Government since it was first announced back in March that the centre would be in the North West and their voices appear to have been heard.

At the time Chorley MP Sir Lindsay Hoyle, who is also Speaker of the House of Commons, said: “I believe the creation of a cyber corridor with the National Cyber Force based here in Lancashire would be a huge boost for our region.

"The work conducted by the cyber force is critical in order to counter the growing threat from terrorists and organised criminal gangs.

"The initiative will bring well paid, high skilled jobs to our county and I am working with Nigel Evans to make a strong case for those jobs to be based here in Lancashire.

"The government have committed to bringing the jobs to the North West but I want to ensure that my constituents and those in surrounding areas can witness the benefit of the ‘levelling-up’ agenda at first hand by locating the Cyber Force here in Lancashire.”

Ribble Valley MP Nigel Evans has been pushing for the Cyber Force to be located in Samlesbury in his constituency.

He said back in March: “I welcome the Prime Minister’s announcement about the National Cyber Force coming to the North West, and along with the Speaker I am campaigning to get in Lancashire at Samlesbury.

"Both myself and the Speaker have written to the Prime Minister, and we recently met with the Defence Secretary to put forward a united case."