Hundreds of jobs are to be created at a cutting-edge new GCHQ intelligence facility in Manchester.
Capitalising on the region’s digital technology talent pool and strengths in cybersecurity, the secure site is due to open in 2019 to support GCHQ’s work to identify and disrupt threats to the UK.
The Manchester facility will extend the network of sites in the UK operated by the UK Government’s intelligence, security and cyber agency.
Headquartered in Cheltenham, GCHQ has offices in Cornwall and Scarborough. Last year, the National Cyber Security Centre, which is part of GCHQ, opened new headquarters near Victoria in London.
GCHQ made the Manchester site announcement to coincide with the CYBERUK 2018 conference at Manchester Central – the National Cyber Security Centre’s flagship event on cybersecurity.
The only UK Government-hosted event for the cybersecurity sector, CYBERUK 2018 is the largest and most wide-ranging event for cyber security leaders and professionals in the UK.
The event was expected to attract around 1,500 delegates to Manchester, including key players in government, academia, and industry.
Jeremy Fleming, Director of GCHQ, said: “I’m delighted we’re opening a new site in the City of Manchester. It will create hundreds of high calibre jobs for people who will have a vital role in keeping this country safe.
“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.”
GCHQ works alongside MI5 and Secret Intelligent Service (MI6) to keep Britain safe. Its heritage goes back to its beginnings at Bletchley Park, where code breakers helped wartime intelligence efforts.
The ingenuity and problem-solving of its wartime founders is still abundant today in how its people help to counter online and real-world threats from nation states, criminal groups, terrorists and individuals.
Sir Richard Leese, Leader of Manchester City Council, said: “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.”
GCHQ is already recruiting for a range of roles across its existing sites, and jobs at its new Manchester offices will be advertised later this year.
To find out more about Manchester's strengths in cybersecurity download the Greater Manchester Cyber brochure here.