Greater Manchester cyber ecosystem

We are establishing Greater Manchester as UK and European centre for cyber and digital ethics, trust and security

We want Greater Manchester to be known as an extremely attractive place for:

  • Digital skills for life and living - a place and approach that builds digital literacy, confidence and capability through diverse and varied training and learning programmes. Recognising digital literacy can be part of the solution to social isolation and exclusion. As well as investing in digital skills, education and training so all can access, benefit from and take advantage of an increasingly digital workplace
  • Powering opportunity for business, in an increasingly digital world. Home to a thriving business ecosystem with services, support and advice to help businesses of all sizes thrive, innovate and adapt to an increasingly digital world. Connected and collaborative, enabling businesses to open up and access new opportunities and unlock new possibilities
  • Where digital industry grows and flourishes. Home to and the home of emerging and growing digital industries and digital pioneers. A place where next generation businesses and careers grow and prosper. Recognised, reputable and on the radar nationally and internationally

Greater Manchester presents a unique opportunity for cyber - a place with the ambition and strong civic mandate, to take an approach to digital that ensures no one gets left behind. Helping everyone to live healthier and happier lives by being able to navigate through, access and benefit from an increasingly digital world.

Greater Manchester has a £5 billion digital economy and a strong cyber ecosystem is at the heart of that. Greater Manchester is the fastest-growing tech city within Europe, now only second to London when it comes to investment, overtaking Cambridge for the first time.

Digital is in Greater Manchester’s DNA. we are leveraging our expertise in areas like cyber security, digital health and digital manufacturing to attract further investment.

"The world is changing at an unprecedented rate. That change is driving extraordinary opportunity, innovation and progress. It’s also unleashing amazing complexity, uncertainty and risk. If we want a security and intelligence mission fit for our second century, it’s crucial we keep reinventing –which is why our new Manchester facility will be vital to our future success."

Jeremy Fleming, Director GCHQ

Our assets

The region has a thriving and diverse cyber ecosystem that includes over 150 dedicated cyber businesses plus high levels of university led research projects, cyber skills and initiatives. Boasting a £5bn digital economy. Greater Manchester’s expertise in digital security and new technologies continue to gain attention, fostering growth and expansion in the cyber cluster. These strengths make Greater Manchester a sought-after location for cyber businesses.

The Greater Manchester Cyber Strategy 2023-2028 sets out a 5-year route to build on these strengths and is underpinned by a whole system approach to grow cyber capabilities for the North West, ensuring a more prosperous, fairer and greener region.

The Greater Manchester Cyber Security Advisory Group reflects the cyber security capabilities of Greater Manchester and drives forward inclusive economic growth for the city-region and the North.

The group will provide strategic oversight and a force for inclusive economic growth, taking an ecosystem approach to building that capability and economic resilience.

Read more on the group's outputs and how to get involved.

The hi-tech Manchester premises 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.

With Manchester Metropolitan University leading the way, four universities from the North West: The Manchester Metropolitan University, Lancaster University, The University of Manchester and University of Salford have teamed up to ensure 150 forward-thinking businesses are at the forefront of the evolution of Artificial Intelligence in Greater Manchester.

The Greater Manchester Cyber Foundry is a programme for small-medium sized businesses to help with business growth, stability and security. The programme is part funded by the European Regional Development Fund and there is no cost for participating businesses/business owners.

The Cyber Resilience Centre for the North West is a not-for-profit venture between Greater Manchester Police and Manchester Digital. 

With an ambition that every business within the North West region will have the skills and knowledge to protect themselves from online attacks in order to make the region one of the safest places to live, work and do business.

Home to the nation’s fastest-growing cyber ecosystem, a Top 20 European Digital City, and now a base for GCHQ, Greater Manchester is at the forefront of cybersecurity and innovation. The region is now building on its heritage in scientific advancements with a new £10m Digital Security Innovation Hub.

SPRITE+ brings together people involved in research, practice, and policy with a focus on digital contexts. A way for these communities to connect and a platform for building collaborations across the spectrum of issues relating to security, privacy, identity and trust.

SPRITE+ is led by a consortium of five universities: University of Manchester (lead institution), Imperial College London, Lancaster University, Queen’s University Belfast, and University of Southampton.

HOST Cyber, in partnership with Salford City Council, creates a unique cyber sandbox, allowing incubated start-ups to accelerate and validate their IP across a real-world commercial environment.

HOST offer programmes such as the Cyber Innovation Lab a programme created by innovators who have lived experience of accelerating their products through support programmes.

The University of Manchester has joined up with GCHQ along with three other North West-based universities to create a “Security and Trust Partnership” in the North West that will see closer ties with academia.  

In a first for the intelligence, cyber and security agency, the new partnership will see GCHQ publish its own research jointly with the universities. Previously all research written by the intelligence services has been kept within national security circles only.  

Read more on the Centre for Digital Trust and Society.


Were you at CYBERUK 2022? Visit our dedicated page to learn more about the exhibitors that showcased Greater Manchester at CYBERUK 2022.

Read the Greater Manchester Cyber Prospectus 2022 (Adobe PDF, 298KB)

Watch and read insights from members of our Greater Manchester Cyber Security Advisory Group

Key milestones

Timeline format graphic with headings 2019 to 2022

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