Creative, Digital and Technology Cyber Security

The UK is committed to tackling cyber-crime and Greater Manchester, home to the nation’s fastest-growing cyber ecosystem, is the driving force.

Birthplace of the industrial revolution as well as the world’s first stored program computer, Manchester is a pioneering city that never stops innovating and is now leading the way in defending digital assets from hackers. 

The boom in cyber security businesses setting up in or moving to the city demonstrates the growing demand for its world class cyber security expertise.

Greater Manchester has nurtured homegrown digital security companies including Avecto, Hedgehog, NCC Group and Secarma, and has attracted established cyber divisions of global defence companies such as Raytheon, BAE Systems AI and Northrop Grumman as well as consulting firms including KPMG to establish itself as a city committed to cyber security innovation and collaboration.

The city also home to the UK’s government security agency GCHQ – placing it at the heart of the nation’s IT security effort. The national agency established a strategic hub in Manchester in 2019 and has plans to grow up to 1,000 staff.

This cyber ecosystem sits at the heart of a thriving £5 billion digital economy and has been recognised as a Top 20 European Digital City due to the depth and breadth of its digital and technology industry.

The diversity of Manchester’s business landscape, which includes the UK’s largest regional FinTech industry, digitally-enabled health and social care, a vibrant eCommerce hub and a vast industrial base that is embracing digital solutions, offers cyber companies unrivalled market opportunity.

Being the place where the knowledge economy intersects with industry, cyber firms are often drawn in by the opportunity to collaborate and innovate with the highly-skilled, specialist knowledge holders across the city region’s five universities, where more than 100,000 people study. Those universities produce quality graduates every year, providing a sustainable pool of talent in addition to the 103,000 already employed in the creative, digital and technology industry. 

Opening our Manchester hub is a unique and exciting opportunity to draw on the talents of one of the most diverse cities in the UK.
— Jeremy Fleming, Director of GCHQ

The city has implemented numerous initiatives to ensure it is recognised as one of the best cities in the world for developing and harnessing digital technology and cement its reputation as a leading centre of information security innovation and research, which include:

Manchester Digital Innovation and Security Hub (DISH) Launched late 2021, DISH is a £10m programme that works to facilitate the growth of cyber security businesses in the region, providing collaborative space in which companies, universities and government can share best practice in tackling cyber threats.

GM Cyber Foundry – a £6m ERDF funded initiative, the Cyber Foundry is a unique concept based on the partnership of four universities from the North West: The University of Manchester, University of Salford, Manchester Metropolitan University and Lancaster University. Together they are using their expertise and specialisms (eg privacy, trust, data protection, cyber resilience in IoT, cryptography, threat intelligence) to increase security by design in products and services through knowledge transfer.

North West Cyber Resilience Centre - A joint venture between Greater Manchester Police and Manchester Digital, the Cyber Resilience Centre supports and helps protect SMEs, supply chain businesses and third sector organisations in the region against cybercrime. 

Above all, Greater Manchester is a place that gets things done. We have a long history of proven public/private partnerships combined with stable local civic leadership conducive to innovation and growth. Our combined authority, a joint governance of ten councils, share a strategy for economic growth and work together to drive the region’s cyber activity.

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