National Cyber Force announces £5bn Lancashire campus

The digital warfare centre will be built in Samlesbury, a village in South Ribble that is also home to an aircraft factory for aerospace defence company BAE Systems.

The National Cyber Force brings together cyber experts from MI6, GCHQ, the Ministry of Defence and the Defence Science and Technology Laboratory all under one unified command.

Run jointly by the Ministry of Defence and GCHQ, the National Cyber Force is capable of offensive digital attacks. When the construction of the campus is complete, it is expected to employ thousands.

“The National Cyber Force located in Samlesbury will embrace exciting new offensive cyber technologies and provide thousands of highly skilled jobs and expertise to the North West,” said defence secretary and MP for Wyre and Preston North, Ben Wallace.

“I am hugely proud and enthusiastic to see this happen, not only will it provide a catalyst for investment, but also see our levelling up agenda bring economic stimulus and tangible benefits to this region.”

Foreign secretary Liz Truss said that the National Cyber Force “sends a powerful message to our allies and adversaries alike”.

GCHQ is already in the North West, with an office in Manchester. According to the MoD, Manchester has Europe’s fastest-growing major tech cluster.