The partners who worked to secure the National Cyber Force in East Lancashire, have hailed it a ‘once in a generation opportunity’.

Yesterday (October 3), the government announced that they would be building a new ‘cyber-centre’ in Samlesbury which will draw together personnel from intelligence, cyber and security agency GCHQ, the Ministry of Defence, the Secret Intelligence Service (MI6) and the Defence Science and Technology Laboratory, under one unified command for the first time.

The partnership between Lancashire County Council, the Lancashire Enterprise Partnership (LEP), Lancaster University, the University of Central Lancashire (UCLan) and BAE Systems, has a vision to become the most data-aware and data-mature economy in the UK.

The development will bring multi-million investment into the county and will place the area in a position to emerge as a sector-leading global influence.

Chair of the Lancashire Enterprise Partnership, Debbie Francis OBE said: ''To identify Lancashire as the preferred location for the National Cyber Force is testament to the exemplary capabilities and assets we have in the county, and we are delighted these have been recognised at the highest level.

“This investment will be a real game-changer for Lancashire and will position us as one which has a thriving cyber and security innovation ecosystem on the global stage.

''The way in which all partners involved have worked together to ensure Lancashire was the successful location, demonstrates what can be achieved by taking a partnership approach and we are proud to be involved in such a powerful collaboration.''

The centre will protect against offensive cyber operations which can disrupt hostile state activities, terrorists and criminals from threatening the UK’s national security - from countering terror plots to conducting military operations.