£9 million cyber centre opens thanks to city university

The new £9 million Cyber Quarter – Midlands Centre for Cyber Security based at Skylon Park on the Herefordshire Enterprise Zone has been officially opened.

Councillor David Hitchiner, Herefordshire Council leader Chris Ensor, Erika Lewis, director for cyber skills and growth at the National Centre for Cyber Security, and Professor Prashant Pillai
Councillor David Hitchiner, Herefordshire Council leader Chris Ensor, Erika Lewis, director for cyber skills and growth at the National Centre for Cyber Security, and Professor Prashant Pillai

Erika Lewis, director for cyber security and digital identity at the Department for Digital, Culture, Media and Sport, was joined by a senior representative from the National Cyber Security Centre – a part of GCHQ – to cut the ribbon on the new building which has already scooped two prestigious construction awards.

The centre is a joint venture between the University of Wolverhampton and Herefordshire Council and is part-funded by the government’s Local Growth Fund, via the Marches Local Enterprise Partnership and the European Regional Development Fund.

The state-of-the-art hub supports innovation and industry in the sector, offering a package of tailored security testing, training, research and development and sector expertise to businesses and investors.

Minister for Media, Data and Digital Infrastructure, Julia Lopez, said: "This new state-of-art-centre will be a fantastic addition to the country's booming cyber security industry and offer businesses the support they need to take their ideas to the next level.

"Growing and developing the UK's technology sector is a crucial part of our mission to level up and we are backing firms with pro-innovation policies and supporting people to get the skills to succeed."

Professor Prashant Pillai, associate dean for research and knowledge exchange and centre director, said: “Now, more than ever as globally we collectively try to recover following the Covid-19 pandemic, this new centre will be of real value to people who are launching or growing their business.

“The expertise and specialist focus of the new centre will be part of a wider, growing campus of cyber sector companies based within the Cyber Quarter on Skylon Park. The area is already home to a highly regarded cyber economy, and the knowledge, expertise and opportunities that the centre brings will help to establish Herefordshire as one of the capitals of the cyber security sector.

“We are hoping to forge strategic partnerships and relationships with some of the world’s leading expertise in cyber and security, really putting Herefordshire and the Midlands on the international map.”

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