A NEW £3.7million cyber centre set to open its doors in Wiltshire in April says it wants to work with as many companies in the county as possible.
The Business Cyber Centre, at Greenways Business Park in Chippenham, has launched a website, built by creative agency Milk & Tweed, to help establish its reputation and build local partnerships.
The centre will act as a base for Ministry of Defence supply chain at Corsham and throughout the region, host training to raise awareness of cyber security and deliver the skills to combat it, as well as provide work space and networking for cyber professionals.
The centre, which has been funded by the government’s Getting Building Fund and is being delivered by the Swindon and Wiltshire Local Enterprise Partnership, is the first of its kind in the country and commercial operations manager Tom Marshall said it is important to make people aware of what its mission is.
“The remit to Milk & Tweed was to build something so that people can communicate with us, but it will be an evolution as we grow and develop our services,” he said.
The Chippenham creative agency designed and built the website, which is so far limited to a landing page, to keep partners and potential clients informed about the centre’s progress as it works towards its opening. Contractors are still busy gutting and converting the former home of electronics firm General Dynamics.
Mr Marshall said: “We have a responsibility to tell people what we are doing with the £3.7 million of public money and also to support the partners that we’re working with to say ‘this is happening and this is where we’ve got to’.
“As we go on we’ll add more pages and information about the delivery team and what we’ll be doing.”
He said the Milk & Tweed team has been easy to work with. “They have been excellent, we wanted to make the site fit with our brand,” he said. “All credit to Milk and Tweed for digesting what we want and delivering it.”
Milk & Tweed creative director Jake Jeffries said the work has been an enjoyable test for his designers. “The security side of the project has been challenging and we are proud that we’ve built something resilient for Tom and his team,” he said.
“The centre already had its own brand and identity so we’ve worked hard to make sure the site reflects that. This landing page is just the start and we are really looking forward to seeing this project grow and the site grow with it.”
A key message from the centre’s site is that all businesses, no matter what their size, are at risk from hackers who could steal information for fraud purposes or hold them to ransom. More than a third of UK companies have suffered a security breach in the last 12 months.
Mr Marshall said: “There is a lack of understanding, certainly at the small and micro end of the SME world, of the requirement for some form of basic cyber security protection.
“You could be a sole trader running a finance platform for high-worth individuals, you are infinitely at higher risk than a building company that employs 50 people. Everybody is at risk, not just from a finance perspective but think about intellectual property or business continuity, they need to be considered.”
The training side of the project will be carried out by tenant companies who will provide opportunities for military personnel, students and people from other industries to develop the skills needed to work in the cyber industry.
Mr Marshall said: “We are aiding the development of a talent pool and aiding it by connecting skills and training organisations, people who are needed in the MoD, and giving them an easy journey to acquiring those roles without having to go to university or college. It is about recognising the skills they have got and putting them in the right place as quickly as possible.”
The ground floor of the three-storey-site, which will eventually create around 270 jobs and thousands of training places, will be home to a café and a co-working space where freelancers, start-ups and sole traders can hire desk space for a monthly fee.
Mr Marshall said: “It’s about the investment in the support and the sustainability of UK business as a whole. Because if we all do better, then we will do cyber security better and generally the businesses will improve.”
Find out more about the centre at bcc.co.uk and about the creative agency at milkandtweed.com.
Pictured: Business Cyber Centre commercial operations manager Tom Marshall, right, with Milk & Tweed creative director Jake Jeffries