Tag Archives: Andrew Stephenson

Plans for North-East Lancashire Cyber Security Business Park Submitted

Plans to open a centre to help small and medium businesses fight cybercrime has been proposed as part of a larger redevelopment project of Brierfield Mill which is located in Pendle, Lancashire.

Pendle Council leader Joe Cooney has confirmed that talks are currently ongoing about setting up the North-East Lancashire Cyber Security Business Park as part of the proposal to redevelop Brierfield Mill.

Cooney stated, “There are discussions ongoing and there is certainly the potential that this may come off. There was always going to be considerable office space within the mill and this would fit within the masterplan.”

Cooney added, “Cyber security is massive and costs the UK economy up to £2billion every year. It is not so much of a major issue for larger firms, who will have their own IT teams to deal with it. But when you are talking about small and medium-sized enterprises then they really need to protect their data. This could be huge.”

The proposed business park will be part of an overall £25million redevelopment of Brierfield Mill and would be expected to create around 2,250 jobs. It is estimated that 300 of the jobs made available would be for apprentices with the other 1,950 being made available for support staff, cafe and restaurant workers and highly skilled professionals.

Gordon Birtwistle who is the Burnley MP and the government’s apprenticeship ambassador to business believes that this is a great opportunity and the importance of fighting cybercrime is increasing at a rapid rate.

Birtwistle stated, “There is the plan of a big training establishment for training people to work in cyber security, which is absolutely brilliant. A very, very powerful business case has been put together for the site.”

Birtwistle added, “This is a major thing because we do not fight wars with guns anymore, we fight them in cyber space, so we need to be confident of stopping it and aware of how it affects companies. Companies overseas can also easily steal our ideas and intellectual property. It is a constant battle and we need people trained to do the job.”

If the proposal is given the go-ahead, it is anticipated that everything would be up and running within the next 12 months. However, it may take between five and ten years for all of the jobs to have been made available.

The MP for Pendle, Andrew Stephenson is very keen for the project to be given the go-ahead as it will not only create jobs but also help to keep some of the most talented youngsters in the region.

Stephenson stated, “Something like this is so important to our area. So many young people think they have to move away to one of the big cities so this will be a great way of keeping some of our most talented youngsters.”

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