Barclays Eagle Labs, in partnership with Plexal, Lancaster University and The University of Manchester, is launching the Digital Security Hub.

DiSH is a new initiative to help drive innovation and growth in Greater Manchester and the wider UK’s digital and cyber security sectors, with an aim to support 500 startups and create over 1,000 jobs in Greater Manchester.

The DiSH proposition will be headquartered in Manchester in an 11,000 square foot state-of the-art space in Heron House, due to open in the summer, but accessible virtually UK-wide. 

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 and upskilling over 1000 individuals in the next five years to help them access opportunities in the growing sector, with a focus on deprived local communities to promote social mobility through innovation.

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

In the first of a range of growth programmes offered by DiSH, businesses can register their interest now for the dedicated Digital Security Accelerator programme, designed and delivered by Plexal. The programme will accelerate the development and growth of digital and security startups and SMEs, providing participating entrepreneurs with bespoke support to help commercialise and scale innovative solutions. 

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.”

Councillor 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.”