Crime Reduction

11.04.18

GCHQ to open new base to put Manchester ‘at the heart of UK security’

Spy agency GCHQ is to set up a new base in Manchester, it has been announced.

Although the exact location of the base has not been revealed, chiefs say it will place the city “at the heart of the nation’s security.”

The announcement comes almost a year after the city was shook by the UK’s worst terror attack since 2005.

Officials at the intelligence, security and cyber organisation say that the move will create hundreds of jobs when the site opens next year. Job advertisement will begin later this year.

Jeremy Fleming, director of GCHQ, said: “I’m delighted we’re opening a new site in the city of Manchester. Our new facility will open up a huge new pool of highly talented, tech-savvy recruits vital to our future success.

“Manchester is a city full of innovation and talent. It is also a city known for its tolerance and inclusivity, which last year was tragically attacked by someone who had neither. In that difficult time, we at GCHQ drew strength from the togetherness and resilience shown by all of Manchester’s communities. That’s how you tackle terrorism.”

The organisation works closely with MI5 and MI6 to protect government systems from cyber threats, provide support to the armed forces, and keep the public safe.

Its headquarters are based in Cheltenham and regional hubs in Scarborough, Bude and Harrogate.

Leader of Manchester City Council, Sir Richard Leese, welcomed the plans: “This announcement will create hundreds of jobs and represents a huge vote of confidence in the talent pool of potential employees in and around Manchester. GCHQ perform a vital role helping to keep the country safe and we look forward to welcoming them to the city in 2019.”

Last year, the brand-new National Cyber Security Centre opened its headquarters near Victoria in London as part of the government’s long-term cyber security strategy.

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