Funding awarded for new Herefordshire cyber security centre

Herefordshire Council is delighted with the government’s latest Growth Deal announcement that funding has been awarded to develop a new cyber security centre in Hereford.

The Department for Communities and Local Government has awarded £2.82million to The Marches Local Enterprise Partnership (LEP) to support the development of a new Centre for Cyber Security in Hereford, which will create 185 additional jobs. 

The centre, which is being developed by the University of Wolverhampton, will be located at Hereford Enterprise Zone’s Skylon Park and will support three main areas: 

  • Accommodation for businesses working in the cyber security sector with potential space for up to 20 tenant businesses, creating 185 additional jobs for the county 
  • Secure training and educational facilities to provide specialist cyber security training for businesses and organisations 
  • A base for undertaking research in the field of cyber security 

The centre will also have specially equipped laboratories which will enable users to simulate cyber attacks and test responses in a secure environment. 

Councillor Tony Johnson, leader of Herefordshire Council, said: “I am delighted that the county’s ambitious plan to continue improving its business and education sectors has been recognised by the government.  

“The substantial investment through The Marches Local Enterprise Partnership will support the delivery of both the cyber security centre and a new university and enable us to not only attract more business investment into the county, but ensure we’re able to grow and retain our own talent right here in Herefordshire. 

“We already know that Herefordshire is a really great place to invest now and in the future, but this recognition from the government, clearly demonstrates confidence in our county.  We’ve been planning this for quite some time, ensuring we have the necessary housing and infrastructure in place.  It’s now time for the serious work to start and I personally can’t wait to see what our county looks like by 2020.” 

Professor Ian Oakes, deputy vice chancellor at the University of Wolverhampton, said: “The university has already formed strong, collaborative relationships with key companies to engage with cyber research, training programmes and enterprise development and has a number of research teams associated with the development of cyber security. 

“Our strategy is to bring together our collective expertise in a centre of excellence with partners both in the UK and internationally. 

“The new centre in Hereford will organise, facilitate and support the development of cyber security on a global scale, whilst at the same time presenting opportunities to develop high quality academic, vocational educational and training programmes to address the digital skills shortage being experienced nationally.” 

Bill Jackson, chair of the Hereford Enterprise Zone,said: “Hereford Enterprise Zone’s aspiration is for the cyber security centre to be the centrepiece of a larger cyber campus for businesses.  This demonstrates and supports the zone’s focus on the defence and security sector and the growing cluster of related businesses in the area.  

“Over three acres has been set aside for businesses, whether they’re growing out of the centre or re-locating into the county to take advantage of the centre’s facilities, profile and available opportunities.” 

This announcement comes on the back of confirmed government funding for a new university in Hereford.