In Brief

Spy agency GCHQ to open base in Manchester

Intelligence bosses say the new centre will be at the heart of the nation’s security

Intelligence agency GCHQ has announced plans to open a new centre in Manchester to combat global terror.

The base, due to open next year, will be “at the heart of the nation’s security, using cutting-edge technology and technical ingenuity to identify and disrupt threats to the UK”, the spy agency says.

It is expected to create hundreds of new jobs in the city, the Manchester Evening News reports.

GCHQ has its headquarters in Cheltenham and offices in Cornwall and Scarborough. The new facility in Manchester “will open up a huge new pool of highly talented, tech-savvy recruits vital to our future success”, said agency director Jeremy Fleming.

He praised the city’s response to last year’s terror attack at Manchester Arena, which left 22 people dead and hundreds more injured.

Manchester is “a city known for its tolerance and inclusivity, which last year was tragically attacked by someone who had neither”, Fleming said.

“In that difficult time, we at GCHQ drew strength from the togetherness and resilience shown by all of Manchester's communities,” he added. “That's how you tackle terrorism.”

Sir Richard Leese, leader of Manchester City Council, welcomed the move which he said “represents a huge vote of confidence” in the potential talent pool of employees in the city.

“GCHQ perform a vital role in helping to keep the country safe and we look forward to welcoming them to the city in 2019,” he said.

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