The vision of the partnership, which comprises a powerful collaboration between Lancashire County Council, the Lancashire Enterprise Partnership (LEP), Lancaster University , the University of Central Lancashire (UCLan) and BAE Systems, is to become the most data-aware and data-mature economy in the UK. By extending the proposed Northwest Cyber Corridor from Manchester through to Lancaster and beyond, Samlesbury will become the heart of a thriving, collaborative regional cyber and security innovation ecosystem.
This extraordinary development brings multi-million investment into Lancashire and places us at the threshold of an unheralded opportunity to emerge as a sector-leading global influence. Working as a collaborative giant of academic, research, enterprise and community facing strategies, Lancashire’s universities and further education colleges will step onto this platform prepared to drive standards, create policies and provide global leadership.
The partnership’s vision is to establish Lancashire as an undisputed national leader for cyber and security-related capabilities playing its part in national security. This project brings unparalleled opportunities to generate positive economic and societal impacts for the region.
Lancashire is already home to a rich seam of cyber-related research and innovation assets across industry and academia. However, this sustained investment over many years in cyber skills and education, provides easy and ready access to a critical mass of un-tapped talent across whole education system bringing high-value skills and employability to the region.
Lancashire County Council’s leader, Councillor Phillippa Williamson, said:
“This is a real vote of confidence in Lancashire which builds on our strengths as a market leader in tech and aerospace. This will not only create high-skilled jobs and significant investment opportunities, but will also establish the county as a global centre of excellence for cyber security.
“Nearly two centuries ago Lancashire changed the world as the cradle of the industrial revolution. We’re now set to do this again as a hub for the new digital revolution and we can look forward to a bright, ambitious future for generations to come.”
Debbie Francis OBE, Chair of the Lancashire Enterprise Partnership said: ”To identify Lancashire as the preferred location for the National Cyber Force is testament to the exemplary capabilities and assets we have in the county, and we are delighted these have been recognised at the highest level. This investment will be a real game-changer for Lancashire and will position us as one which has a thriving cyber and security innovation ecosystem on the global stage.
”The way in which all partners involved have worked together to ensure Lancashire was the successful location, demonstrates what can be achieved by taking a partnership approach and we are proud to be involved in such a powerful collaboration.”
Charles Woodburn, Chief Executive, BAE Systems, said:
“The decision to base the National Cyber Force in Samlesbury is a real boost to the region, bringing in advanced capabilities and high-level digital skills.
”We’re excited to be working with our long-standing partners in Lancashire sharing our networks with schools, academia, research organisations and supply chains to support the Government’s ambitions to grow its cyber expertise in the region,”
Lancaster University’s Vice-Chancellor Professor Andy Schofield said:
“As a flagship data and cyber security institution, Lancaster University is proud to have played a pivotal role as part of the team behind the bid to locate the National Cyber Force (NCF) in Lancashire.
From online child exploitation and fraud to national security and defence, Cyber Security is essential to a safe society and our interdisciplinary research teams have already established a globally-leading presence in this vital field.
Lancaster is one of an elite group of Universities – and the only one in the North West of England – to be triple accredited for excellence in cyber education and research across the board. This includes NCSC recognition as a Gold Academic Centre of Excellence in Cyber Security Education, having an Academic Centre of Excellence in Cyber Security Research and having our Cyber Security Master’s programme.
University of Central Lancashire’s Vice-Chancellor Professor Graham Baldwin said:
“The University of Central Lancashire is delighted to be working in partnership with the Lancashire Enterprise Partnership, Lancashire County Council and Lancaster University to support this multi-million pound cyber investment in to Lancashire.
“This is a fantastic opportunity for the region, and I am delighted we are able to bring our academic talent to this collaboration and to provide opportunities for our students that will hopefully lead to successful future careers within Lancashire.
“Our University is passionate about helping to level up the north and this investment brings to life how universities can work together with industry to build the supply chain for the future. These are very exciting times indeed, providing excellent real-world learning opportunities for our students.”
Ministry of Defence press release of 3 October 2021 – Permanent location of National Cyber Force campus announced