UK's National Cyber Force will be based in the North

The prime minister, Boris Johnson, holding a folder
(Image credit: Shutterstock)

Prime minister Boris Johnson is set to announce a cyber security hub headquartered in the North of England.

The National Cyber Force (NCF) will be formally announced later in the week, along with the strategy behind it, as part of an 'Integrated Review' .

The review will lay out the government's approach to cyber security and will include a 'cyber corridor' across the North of England that aims to create and "sustain" thousands of jobs in defence and intelligence services.

The location of the NCF is a key element of the plans with the government hoping to drive further growth in the digital tech and defence sectors outside of London and foster wider government partnerships within the industry and universities around the region.

The NCF was first touted by the government last year and is part of its "full-spectrum approach" to cyber security. Specifically, the hub will carry out operations for interfering with terrorist mobile phone networks, monitoring cyber space for serious crimes, and keeping military aircraft safe from targeted weapon systems. It will also pull together experts from both defence and intelligence agencies under one unified command line.

"Cyber power is revolutionising the way we live our lives and fight our wars, just as airpower did 100 years ago," the PM said. "We need to build up our cyber capability so we can grasp the opportunities it presents while ensuring those who seek to use its powers to attack us and our way of life are thwarted at every turn."

The North of England already has a strong record within the defence sector, and it currently sustains more than 35,000 jobs in the north-west alone, according to the government.

Manchester, for example, has a rapidly growing tech community that's said to be one of the fastest-growing in Europe, and the city is also home to GCHQ. The government estimates that 15% of Manchester's population is employed by the digital tech sector.

Bobby Hellard

Bobby Hellard is ITPro's Reviews Editor and has worked on CloudPro and ChannelPro since 2018. In his time at ITPro, Bobby has covered stories for all the major technology companies, such as Apple, Microsoft, Amazon and Facebook, and regularly attends industry-leading events such as AWS Re:Invent and Google Cloud Next.

Bobby mainly covers hardware reviews, but you will also recognize him as the face of many of our video reviews of laptops and smartphones.