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GCHQ's headquarters in Cheltenham. GCHQ runs the National Cyber Force alongside the Ministry of Defence. Credit: Google Earth

National Cyber Force announces £5bn Lancashire campus

Julia Hatmaker

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.

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Brilliant news for the North West this

By Bob

Preston has a burgeoning digital economy. This is further good news for the area.

By Elephant

In Pennine Lancashire next to Blackburn but good for the north west as a whole

By George

Preston awakes! chance to create an economic triangle with Liverpool and Manchester

By Rich X

Great news for Preston

By Katie

Good news for Preston indeed, well done!

By Liverpolitis

Lots of mentions of Preston on this story but Salmsbury is on the outskirts of Blackburn… but this is good for all of the north west

By George

I Suppose nobody knows where GCHQ is in Manchester?…I remember them coming a couple of years ago but I guess the idea is that it’s secret.

By Anonymous

I agree with Rich X. An economic triangle with Liverpool, Manchester, Warrington, Manchester airport and everywhere in between. This is almost an identical pattern to the first industrial Revolution in the North West.

By Elephant

Samlesbury is definitely closer to Preston than Blackburn.

By Red Rose

This is not Preston, it’s Blackburn.

By Loganberry

Salmsbury is about 4 miles from Blackburn centre snot 12 from Preston centre …..but good for both . But need to correct the view that Lancashire is all about Preston . Actually Pennine Lancashire ( Blackburn, Burnley etc ) have more in common and more economic with Manchester than Preston

By George

Are folk getting confused by Samlesbury and Salesbury here? The former is the location of BAE, the entrance of which is 5 miles to Preston bus station, and a similar distance to Blackburn.

Salesbury, is definitely Blackburn, being right next to Wilpshire, but that’s not what the article says.

By Red Rose

I think the argument about location is irrelevant. Good for the county. In any event, the clue is in the article. The site is in South Ribble!

By Bobdog

Good luck to the GCHQ staff looking for a lunchtime Sandwich………

By Wesley