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Cyber Corridor In North Of England To Follow Integrated Review

The headquarters for the new National Cyber Force will be based in the region.

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Northern England is set to host a UK 'cyber corridor' under the Integrated Review of Security, Defence, Development and Foreign Policy, which is due to be published next week.

The outcome of the largest policy review of its kind since the end of the Cold War is expected on Tuesday, but the Government has revealed more details on its inevitable shift toward cyber.

A headquarters for the new National Cyber Force (NCF) will form part of a wider strategy to develop capabilities in the emerging military domain.

The NCF was created last year to bolster the UK's offensive cyber capability against terror threats, hostile states and criminal gangs.

Defence and intelligence agencies will work under a unified command for the first time under the force.

Some of the tasks expected to be carried out by the NCF could include hacking mobile devices used by terrorists, cleaning up serious crime in cyberspace and protecting allied aircraft from advanced targeting weapons.

The location choice of the northern England region aims to boost job creation and retention in the technology and defence sectors outside of London.

The GCHQ building in Cheltenham. Intelligence staff will work alongside the Ministry of Defence under a unified command for the first time at the National Cyber Force headquarters in the north of England. (Picture: Crown Copyright).

Prime Minister Boris Johnson said: "Cyber power is revolutionising the way we live our lives and fight our wars, just as air power did 100 years ago.

"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.

"Our new, full-spectrum approach to cyber will transform our ability to protect our people, promote our interests around the world and make the lives of British people better every day."

The north of England is already home to a GCHQ office in Manchester with several hundred staff, although the organisation is based in Cheltenham in the South West.

The London-based National Cyber Security Centre was established in 2016 to help businesses and the general public defend against cyber attacks.

As a result of the Integrated Review, a more forward-facing cyber strategy is expected to form a large part of the military's future.

The Army's first dedicated cyber regiment was formed in 2020, and greater advances will hope to benefit the first global deployment of HMS Queen Elizabeth.

Cover image: MOD.