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Greater Manchester sets vision to grow world-leading responsible cyber capabilities in five year plan

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  • Greater Manchester is the UK’s Top Digital Tech City outside London and the nation’s fastest growing cyber eco-system
  • A five-year plan has been set out to continue this growth entitled the Greater Manchester Cyber Strategy 2023-2028
  • Strategy aims to make significant positive impact to businesses, governance, private sector companies, and academia across Greater Manchester and leading the way in areas of digital technology and legal compliance, data privacy, and ethics

Greater Manchester has put forward a five-year plan to continue the rapid expansion of cyber technology, infrastructure, and innovation across the city-region.

The Greater Manchester Cyber Strategy 2023-2028 sets out ways to grow cyber capabilities across the North West through partnerships between government, private sector organisations and academia to collectively strengthen the resilience and diversity of the cyber sector.

The city-region is already at the forefront of cybersecurity and innovation, rapidly becoming the UK and European centre for digital ethics, trust and security, and playing a pivotal role in the UK’s security and resilience. Greater Manchester is also the country’s fastest-growing cyber ecosystem, the UKs Top Digital Tech City outside of London and strategic base for Government Communications Head Quarters (GCHQ).

Greater Manchester’s digital economy is worth £5bn and is a sought-after location for cyber orientated businesses, with more than 150 based in the city-region. Other key assets such as the Digital Innovation Security Hub in central Manchester and influential university research projects add to the add to the strengths and potential of Greater Manchester’s digital sector.

The Greater Manchester Cyber Strategy 2023-2028 plan has been developed by the city-region’s Cyber Advisory Group, a multi-agency forum representing the breadth and diversity of the ecosystem comprising representatives from Greater Manchester’s cyber businesses, academia, public sector and local and national government. The strategy will also support the development of accessible opportunities for people to develop the skills and capabilities needed to address talent and skills gaps.

Cllr Nick Peel, GMCA Lead for Digital, said:

“Through greater collaboration, innovation and skills development we have a real opportunity to deliver improved productivity and resilience that benefits businesses and individuals across Greater Manchester. Having a cyber strategy for the region is key. We know that growth of our cyber sector will lead to the creation of high value jobs, which, in turn will contribute to a greener, fairer and more prosperous Greater Manchester.

“We’re ensuring community engagement is throughout our plans and drawing in cyber talent from across the region. Through this strategy, we will empower people by making them feel safer and more confident to use digital technologies for work, health, or to access online public services.”

The continued expansion of digital elements of national security services in the region, including the £5bn investment in National Cyber Force – a partnership between defence and intelligence will be head quartered in Samlesbury, Lancashire – and has the potential to treble cyber roles in Greater Manchester to 20,000 by 2035 and contribute £2.7bn per annum to the North West’s regional economy.

This will ensure that businesses, services and people in Greater Manchester are able to operate in a safe and secure cyberspace, whilst benefitting from doing so, and enhance the UK’s overall defence and security posture in line with the National Cyber Strategy.

The Greater Manchester Cyber Strategy 2023-2028 will be delivered in partnership through the Greater Manchester Cyber Advisory Group, the strategy owner, and has primary responsibility for strategy formulation and management. It will provide strategic oversight and a force for inclusive economic growth, taking an ecosystem approach to building that capability and economic resilience.

Victoria Knight, Chair of Greater Manchester’s Cyber Advisory Group and Strategic Campaigns Director at BAE Systems, said:

“Led by the Greater Manchester Cyber Advisory Group, this strategy will drive forward an inclusive, resilient and prosperous economy for Greater Manchester and for the North.

“It will ensure that we build upon our bold and ambitious strategy to foster collaborations, drive innovation and investment whilst creating accessible routes to careers in cyber and celebrating diversity across the sector. This will firmly establish Greater Manchester at the core of responsible cyber on both a national and international stage.”

Find out more and read the Greater Manchester Cyber Strategy 2023-28 here

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