Manchester City Council has announced plans for a new cyber security hub that will enable public sector bodies to identify digital security threats.
It has begun to look for an operator to run the Manchester Digital Security Innovation Hub, which will be based in Heron House alongside a GCHQ office, to be up and running by spring of next year.
The council said the hub will be a place for collaboration between public authorities, academia, the voluntary sector and businesses in identifying and developing responses to threats.
It will also include an accelerator hub to support the growth of start-up and commercialisation of new products and services.
A council spokesperson told UKAuthority it has received £5 million for the project through the Local Growth Fund via Greater Manchester Combined Authority, and has match funded this through the cost of refurbishing Heron House.
Leader of the council Sir Richard Leese said: "This is an exciting project which will help stimulate economic growth and create jobs in this fast growing sector which is emerging as one of Manchester's distinctive strengths.
"Such initiatives are more important than ever as we begin to recover from the Covid-19 pandemic and look to the future. As the world continues to face cyber security challenges, the Digital Security Innovation Hub will place Manchester in the forefront of driving creative solutions and responses and help make this a trusted place to do business.
"We're looking for an operator with a strong track record to run this high profile facility."
The council said that Manchester has a strong cyber security ecosystem, being home to intelligence agencies, academic research bodies and initiatives such as the Cyber Resilience Centre and Cyber Family. The digital, creative and technology sector in the city consists of around 10,000 businesses employing 86,000 people and contributing around £5 billion a year to the local economy.
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