Digital initiative launched in bid to create 1,100 jobs

DiSH Manchester

A new consortium has launched a bid to drive growth and innovation in Greater Manchester’s digital security sector, with the aim of creating more than 1,000 jobs.

Barclays Eagle Labs, which has a site in the city’s Albert Square, in partnership with Plexal, Lancaster University and The University of Manchester, is launching the Digital Security Hub (DiSH), which will be based in Manchester but provide access, virtually, around the UK.

The DiSH objectives are:

  • Support 500 start-ups and scale-ups within the sector over a 13-year period via the delivery of accelerator programmes and always-on business growth support.
  • Support the creation of 1,100 jobs within the sector over a 13-year period with a focus on targeting Greater Manchester residents from deprived local communities.
  • Work collaboratively with public, voluntary, and private sector digital security and innovation partners to up/re-skill the Greater Manchester community, enabling access to digital security and innovation opportunities.
  • Curate a diverse and inclusive digital security and innovation ecosystem which is representative of the Greater Manchester community in which it serves.

The DiSH proposition will be based in an 11,000 sq ft state-of the-art space in Heron House, where GCHQ has a Northern base, due to open in the summer.

The space, available for co-working or private office space for businesses and entrepreneurs, will provide access to networking opportunities, business growth programmes and mentorship from industry experts.

The consortium of partners, appointed by Manchester City Council, will also provide a range of cyber and digital educational initiatives across the Greater Manchester Combined Authority.

This will include training and support for businesses, business owners and employees through workshops and seminars.

DiSH will also inspire and educate the future workforce by offering cyber and digital skills workshops working with local primary schools, colleges and employers.

Graham Bastin, MD and North West site lead at Barclays, said: “Digital and cyber security skills are becoming ever more crucial to the function of businesses, government as well as society at large.

“Through the collaborative DiSH initiative we, along with our consortium partners, hope to find and support talented entrepreneurs in the sector, and bring digital and cyber skills to the North West. We believe this will support the growth of a diverse and inclusive digital security industry within Greater Manchester and beyond.”

Cllr Bev Craig, leader of Manchester City Council, said: “Manchester is Europe’s fastest-growing tech city and is establishing itself as a centre of excellence for digital and cybersecurity. DiSH should help build on this and create a wide range of new opportunities in the sector for Manchester and Greater Manchester people.”