The UK government’s new National Cyber Force (NCF) will be located in Samlesbury in the North-West, bringing highly skilled jobs to Lancashire, the Defence Secretary has confirmed today.
The National Cyber Force was announced by the Prime Minister as part of the Integrated Review earlier this year. The joint MoD and GCHQ partnership is helping keep the country safe as the new home of offensive cyber operations.
The permanent site of the NCF will be established in Samlesbury, cementing the North-West region’s position as the cyber centre of the UK. GCHQ already have an office in Manchester and the city is Europe’s fastest growing major tech cluster, with more than 15% of Manchester’s population employed by the digital, creative and technology sector.
The NCF draws together personnel from intelligence, cyber and security agency GCHQ, the MoD, the Secret Intelligence Service (MI6) and the Defence Science and Technology Laboratory (DSTL), under one unified command for the first time.
Offensive cyber operations are those which can disrupt hostile state activities, terrorists and criminals threatening the UK’s national security – from countering terror plots to conducting military operations.
Defence Secretary Ben Wallace said:
Working in partnership with law enforcement and international partners, the NCF operates in a legal, ethical and proportionate way to help defend the nation and counter the full range of national security threats.
Offensive cyber capabilities offer the UK a range of flexible, scalable measures that will help protect the UK and our partners around the globe.
Foreign Secretary Liz Truss said:
The UK has been a world-leader on offensive cyber operations, with GCHQ pioneering the use and development of these cyber techniques. In 2016 the then Defence Secretary confirmed the UK was conducting cyber operations against Daesh and in 2018, Director GCHQ revealed how it had degraded ISIS propaganda networks through cyber operations.
Chancellor of the Duchy of Lancaster Steve Barclay said: