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GCHQ to set up shop in Manchester

UK intelligence, security and cyber agency GCHQ is expanding its network of UK sites to north west England

GCHQ is to set up a site in Manchester in 2019, which the agency claims will bring “hundreds of new jobs” to the area.

The secure site will be at the heart of the nation’s security, using “cutting-edge technology” and “technical ingenuity” to identify and disrupt threats to the UK, the agency announced at the CyberUK 2018 conference taking place in Manchester.

The conference, hosted by GCHQ’s National Cyber Security Centre (NCSC), is expected to attract more than 2,000 specialists from across government, industry and law enforcement.

Jeremy Fleming, director of GCHQ, said the Manchester site will create hundreds of high calibre jobs for people who will have a vital role in keeping the UK safe.

“Our new facility will open up a huge pool of highly talented, tech-savvy recruits vital to our future success,” he said.

The Manchester site will extend GCHQ’s network of sites in the UK, which currently comprises its headquarters in Cheltenham and offices in Bude in Cornwall, and Scarborough. In 2017, the NCSC, which is part of GCHQ, opened its new headquarters near Victoria in London.

“Manchester is a city full of innovation and talent. It is also a city known for its tolerance and inclusivity, which last year was tragically attacked by someone who had neither,” said Flemming.

“In that difficult time, we at GCHQ drew strength from the togetherness and resilience shown by all of Manchester’s communities. That’s how you tackle terrorism,” he said.

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GCHQ works alongside MI5 and MI6, and its history goes back to Bletchley Park, where code breakers helped wartime intelligence efforts.

Richard Leese, leader of Manchester City Council, said the move represents a huge vote of confidence in the talent pool of potential employees in and around Manchester.

“GCHQ perform a vital role helping to keep the country safe and we look forward to welcoming them to the city in 2019,” he said.

GCHQ is already recruiting for a range of roles across its existing sites, and jobs at its Manchester offices will be advertised later this year, the agency said.

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