The UK’s first business-led cyber centre (BCC) has opened in the UK.
The Centre is based in Chippenham, Wiltshire, and is based on a partnership of defence, security, academia, and entrepreneurial expertise.
Swindon and Wiltshire Local Enterprise Partnership (SWLEP) CEO, Paddy Bradley said: “The BCC will transform the future of UK business by making cybersecurity a catalyst for growth. By working alongside cyber businesses and educators and having a diverse group of organisations linked to one site, the BCC will offer key support and enable significant skills and specialist job growth in our region.”
The BCC building consists of 21,000 square feet across three floors with space to rent specifically for cyber businesses, a conference facility with a capacity for 140 people, other meeting rooms for hire, a desk-for-hire space on the ground floor opposite a large café and space for evening events.
The BCC’s primary objective is to create cyber confidence and support SMEs to grow. SWELP says services to SMEs will be affordable, delivered remotely to meet the expectations of start-up and growing SMEs, and be relevant and current. The Centre will provide a range of services extending from virtual cyber training to security awareness for cyber-SMEs and micro-businesses, through to specialist courses and cyber career employment opportunities for both young adults, mature learners, and existing cyber professionals and freelancers.
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SWLEP chair, Paul Moorby said: “The SWLEP has built a strong, highly skilled, regional partnership to deliver the Business Cyber Centre. My thanks to the University of Bath, Defence Digital, the Department of Business Energy and Industrial Strategy and the Department for Digital, Culture, Media and Sport for their valued expertise and ongoing support.
The BCC is designed specifically for SMEs to use as a base to scale up within the £5 billion a year UK cyber market.”
Swindon and Wiltshire Cyber Cluster
The Centre will also be home to the Swindon and Wiltshire Cyber Cluster (SWCC) and will facilitate exclusive networking and contract opportunities for cyber professionals. As well as specialist networking opportunities, the SWCC promotes the sharing of ideas and best practices so that cybersecurity specialist businesses in our area can find new ways to thrive and develop.
Alongside the aims of the BCC, the SWCC will also support the UK Government’s Cybersecurity Strategy and our local economic priorities by building cybersecurity knowledge, skills, infrastructure, and capabilities to make local businesses more resilient to cyber-attacks through minimising risks.
Department for Levelling Up and Housing and Communities’ Minister for Levelling Up, the Union and Constitution, Neil O’Brien MP said: “I’m thrilled that £3.7 million of funding from the Getting Building Fund has helped launch a new Business Cyber Centre at Greenways Business Park. This project will help the area reach its full economic potential by creating 250 new jobs and creating 1,700 training opportunities in the UK cyber sector. By investing in ambitious local projects like this, we’re levelling up towns and cities, boosting local economies and helping them to build back better from the pandemic.”