The Swindon and Wiltshire Local Enterprise Partnership (SWLEP) is delighted to announce the opening in Chippenham of the first business-led cyber centre in the UK.
Learning from the best cyber initiatives around the world and specifically, Be’er Sheba in Israel, the BCC is based on a partnership of defence, security, academia, and entrepreneurial expertise.
SWLEP CEO, Paddy Bradley said: “The BCC will transform the future of UK business by making cyber security a catalyst for growth. By working alongside cyber businesses and educators and having a diverse group of organisations linked to one site, the BCC will offer key support and enable significant skills and specialist job growth in our region.”
Based at the Greenways Business Park in Chippenham the BCC building consists of 21,000 square feet across three floors with space to rent specifically for cyber businesses, a conference facility with a capacity for 140 people, other meeting rooms for hire, a desk-for-hire space on the ground floor opposite a large café and space for evening events.
The BCC’s primary objective is to create cyber confidence and support SMEs to grow, and to grow safely. Services to SMEs will be affordable, delivered remotely to meet the expectations of start-up and growing SMEs, and importantly be relevant and current. The Centre will provide a range of services extending from virtual cyber training to security awareness for cyber-SMEs and micro-businesses, through to specialist courses and cyber career employment opportunities for both young adults, mature learners, and existing cyber professionals and freelancers.
SWLEP Chair, Paul Moorby said: “The SWLEP has built a strong, highly skilled, regional partnership to deliver the Business Cyber Centre. My thanks to the University of Bath, Defence Digital, the Department of Business Energy and Industrial Strategy and the Department for Digital, Culture, Media and Sport for their valued expertise and ongoing support.
The BCC is designed specifically for SMEs to use as a base to scale up within the £5 billion a year UK cyber market.”
There is a passion amongst the team at the BCC to ensure that it will fully deliver on its aims to:
- engage with, and provide affordable and relevant services, to SMEs;
- create and build a powerful community that can tackle any cyber challenge with confidence;
- transform the future of UK business by making cyber security a catalyst for growth;
- enable acceleration and innovation of cyber brands for the future;
- create a community and eco-system, working with partners and in partnership, to develop skills and help businesses to grow safely; and
- future proof UK business by closing the cyber skills gap.
Perhaps most importantly, the team will communicate clearly and simply in plain English. It is so easy to bombard organisations with ‘cyber-speak’ in a digital and technical environment which already fills many SMEs with dread.
Department for Digital, Culture, Media and Sport’s Minister for Media, Data, and Digital Infrastructure, Julia Lopez said: "The UK is a global leader in tech and this new Business Cyber Centre in Chippenham will help create jobs and drive innovation. We’ve invested £700,000 to help cyber security businesses tackle barriers to growth and boost digital skills so people across the country can benefit from this golden age in UK tech."
Many businesses are unaware of the risks to them of not being fully cyber secure. This lack of understanding could lead, at best, to unrecoverable costs to the business and, at worse, closure of the business. Increasingly, not having sufficient cyber security in place is hindering growth opportunities.
The BCC is striving to ensure that all businesses, regardless of size, fully understand the cyber security landscape and it aims to translate the technical jargon into English so that cyber security is a catalyst for growth. It wants to empower businesses to grow but grow safely in our expanding digital world.
By providing connections, facilities, and resources to businesses to enable them to collaborate with industry, academia and government, the BCC will power the acceleration and innovation of cyber brands for the future. Cyber products and services should be resilient and promote the UK’s entrepreneurial reach and impact.
Together with the Swindon and Wiltshire Cyber Cluster (SWCC – see below) the BCC will create and provide a community and ecosystem committed to helping businesses grow safely. Cyber security is no longer an optional extra. By working alongside cyber businesses and educators the BCC aims to transform cyber complexity into cyber confidence for all. Relationships, skills, knowledge and opportunity will all be developed by having a combined approach and engendering collaboration across the sectors.
Individuals and businesses will be able to learn and grow through immersive training and cyber professional level courses at the centre. By closing the cyber skills gap, the BCC will assist in future-proofing UK businesses and organisations. In partnership with the University of Bath and Defence Digital at MOD Corsham, there will be a wide variety of skills options available for new and experienced learners.
Swindon and Wiltshire Cyber Cluster
The Centre will also be home to the Swindon and Wiltshire Cyber Cluster (SWCC) and will facilitate exclusive networking and contract opportunities for cyber professionals. As well as specialist networking opportunities, the SWCC promotes the sharing of ideas and best practices so that cyber security specialist businesses in our area can find new ways to thrive and develop.
Alongside the aims of the BCC, the SWCC will also support the UK Government’s Cyber Security Strategy and our local economic priorities by building cyber security knowledge, skills, infrastructure, and capabilities to make local businesses more resilient to cyber-attacks through minimising risks.
Department for Levelling Up and Housing and Communities’ Minister for Levelling Up, the Union and Constitution, Neil O’Brien MP said: “I’m thrilled that £3.7 million of funding from the Getting Building Fund has helped launch a new Business Cyber Centre at Greenways Business Park. This project will help the area reach its full economic potential by creating 250 new jobs and creating 1,700 training opportunities in the UK cyber sector. By investing in ambitious local projects like this, we’re levelling up towns and cities, boosting local economies and helping them to build back better from the pandemic.”
How to find out more
The BCC believes that cyber security isn’t an optional extra, it’s a must have and the Centre is dedicated to building a powerful community that can tackle any cyber challenge with confidence. Combining its cyber knowledge and expertise, it will give its customers all the tools they need to power their business forward.
Cyber security is everyone’s business. COVID-19 and the war in Ukraine has increased our vulnerability to cyber-attacks. With the increase in reliance upon personal networks, connectivity and remote technology, there are greater opportunities for hackers. All users and businesses are at risk and the BCC aims to help them become cyber smart and cyber confident.
To find out more and to ensure you are kept up to date with all of the developments at the BCC and cyber security in general, please register your details at https://www.bcc.co.uk/contact/ or email [email protected].
If you are a cyber business and interested in the Swindon and Wiltshire Cyber Cluster, contact Brea Woods on [email protected]
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