The Associated Architects-designed Centre of Cyber Security has secured £9m to develop the new facility in Hereford. The project is a joint venture between Herefordshire Council and the University of Wolverhampton.
The University has approved £1.5m to contribute to the centre after securing grant funding of £4m from the Marches LEP Local Growth Fund and £1.1m of European Regional Development Fund (ERDF).
Herefordshire Council has approved further funding of £3.5m to contribute to the centre, which will be located on Skylon Park, in the Hereford Enterprise Zone.
The 3-storey, 2,245m² Centre will allow the University to build upon the academic and research expertise it brings in IT innovation and cyber-related fields, becoming a leader in the field of Cyber Security related areas, through advanced research and engagement with business operating in the field of Cyber Innovation. The Centre will allow Herefordshire businesses to utilise the University of Wolverhampton’s expertise and networks.
The new centre will offer research facilities through the university’s Cyber Security Research Institute as well as providing office space for cyber businesses. It will also offer advanced training facilities designed specifically to tackle threats in cyberspace. The Centre will provide specific laboratory equipment, testing facilities, innovation workspace and collaborative R&D units enabling the private sector to utilise the University;s expertise, extended networks and capacity to stimulate new applications and other products. This will enable the University to stimulate growth in the area courtesy of innovation and improved productivity in SME’s.
A triple height central atrium acts as a welcoming space that can be used for breakout, waiting and socialising, while providing a legible space for ease of navigation to each floor.
Prof Ian Oakes, deputy vice-chancellor at the university, said:
“The university has already formed strong, collaborative relationships with key companies to engage with cyber research, training programmes and enterprise development and has a number of research teams associated with the development of cyber security.
“Our strategy is to bring together our collective expertise in a centre of excellence with partners both in the UK and internationally.
“The new centre will organise, facilitate and support the development of cyber security on a global scale whilst at the same time present us with opportunities to develop high quality academic, vocational educational and training programmes to address the digital skills shortage being experienced nationally.”
Cllr David Harlow, Herefordshire Council cabinet member for economy and communications, added:
“The cyber security sector is an important and fast growing part of the UK economy, and Herefordshire is proud to be home to the new centre for Cyber Security and a growing cluster of cyber security businesses.
“The new centre will provide a unique range of facilities including business space for SMEs research, product testing laboratory space and educational and training space, and will act as a draw for national investment in the local economy.”
The new base will provide innovation workspace for small and start-up businesses to operate from, offering consultancy support from the university and shared facilities including laboratory space and training rooms. It will offer a range of specialist facilities for the cyber sector including server space and high speed broadband as well as research and development laboratory space.
Building works are expected to start on the new Cyber Security Centre in November with completion expected by spring 2020.