New cyber centre secures two coveted construction awards

The new Cyber Quarter – Midlands Centre for Cyber Security building based in Herefordshire has secured two coveted top prizes at the Constructing Excellence West Midlands Awards 2021.  

CE Midlands is the organisation charged with driving the change agenda within the East and West Midlands Construction industry through collaborative working. 

The centre is a joint venture between the University of Wolverhampton and Herefordshire Council and part-funded by the Government’s Local Growth Fund, via the Marches Local Enterprise Partnership (LEP) and the European Regional Development Fund (ERDF). 

The project, a partnership that included Speller Metcalfe, Hybrid Structures, Associated Architects, Cundall, Ramboll, Gleeds and Couch Perry Wilkes as well as the University’s Estates and Facilities Team, scooped the Building Project of the Year Award as well as being announced joint winners for the Integration & Collaborative Working Award at the ceremony held in Edgbaston recently. 

Adrian Speller, Technical Director of constructor Speller Metcalfe who was appointed contractor on the project, said: “Having personally grown up in Herefordshire, it’s been fantastic to work with the project partners to construct a building that has generated significant social return on investment through its delivery. 

“Project partners experienced a number of challenges getting the project to site in the first place and it took a lot of value engineering to do that. But every time we hit a challenge, the team just pulled together remarkably. 

“We’re absolutely thrilled to have been recognised for our efforts. The building is now an extraordinary landmark at Skylon Park and undoubtedly will be integral and instrumental in shaping the landscape of cyber security at a local, national and international level.”  

Warren Jukes, Managing Director of Associated Architects, said: “The Cyber Quarter project is the result of a huge effort and support from multiple partners. This award is a testament to all those involved, and we look forward to watching as the building provides significant resources for the University’s research and development in Cyber Security.”

Cyber Quarter – Midlands Centre for Cyber Security offers a package of tailored security testing, training, Research & Development and sector expertise to businesses and investors. 

Supported by the university’s Wolverhampton Cyber Research Institute (WCRI), the centre will offer product testing and certification, CPD and short courses and cyber conferences such as the recent Cyber Fringe Festival attracting experts from across the globe.  

The 2,000 square metre building will provide significant resources for research and development across three cyber laboratories, advanced training facilities as part of the University’s Wolverhampton Cyber Research Institute and additional business space for up to 16 cyber companies. 

The centre, which secured £2.82m of funding via the Marches LEP’s Growth Deal with Government in 2017, is part of the new Cyber Quarter at Skylon Park, already home to numerous defence and security sector businesses. 

The new centre incorporates a full height glass atrium to provide a dual break-out space and function hall, alongside the main three storey building that houses business suites, innovation rooms, IT workshops and a ‘Cyber Range’ – a cutting edge facility that will defend against the global rise of hacking. 

Anyone interested in courses offered or businesses looking for incubation space can find out more about the Cyber Quarter – Midlands Centre for Cyber Security on the website. 

Anyone looking to study at the University of Wolverhampton should register for one of our forthcoming Open Days. 


DCMS New programme to spark wave of growth in UK’s thriving cyber sector

Department for Digital, Culture, Media and Sport

Department for Digital, Culture, Media and Sport (DCMS)

Innovative cyber startups, small businesses and scaleups will benefit from a new scheme to help them launch and grow their businesses while spreading wealth and opportunity across the UK.

Cyber Runway will see entrepreneurs and businesses across the four nations get access to business masterclasses, mentoring, product development support, networking events and backing to trade internationally and secure investment so they can turn their ideas into commercial successes.

The new programme – funded by the Department for Digital, Culture, Media and Sport (DCMS) and delivered by Plexal in partnership with CyLon, Deloitte and The Centre for Secure Information Technologies (CSIT) – aims to support at least 160 organisations and companies over the course of six months.

The cyber security sector is one of the UK’s tech success stories with revenue growing 7 per cent in the last financial year and the number of companies increasing by 21 per cent. The sector is now worth £8.9 billion.

Companies participating in DCMS’s cyber growth initiatives in the past have, on average, more than tripled their revenues year on year.

Minister for Digital Infrastructure Matt Warman said:

The UK’s cyber sector is booming and we’re working tirelessly to ensure the benefits are felt by businesses and individuals right across the country.

Our new Cyber Runway programme will help tackle barriers to growth, increase investment and give firms vital support to take their businesses to the next level.

Cyber Runway will promote growth across the UK with a particular focus on Scotland, Northern Ireland, Wales, the North East, North West and South West of England to support the government’s levelling up agenda. Much of the activity will build on the success of emerging cyber hubs such as Cheltenham, Manchester, Belfast, Cardiff, Glasgow and Edinburgh.

The programme will also support founders and innovators from a diverse range of backgrounds – targeting applicants from underrepresented groups in the UK’s cyber sector such as women and people from black, asian and minority ethnic backgrounds.

Saj Huq, director of innovation at Plexal, said:

COVID-19 has catalysed the need for effective cyber security across industries, and a record level of capital is being invested into the sector. But there is still a need for support for businesses at the earliest stages of their development and innovators and entrepreneurs from underrepresented communities still face barriers when entering the ecosystem.

These are challenges we look forward to addressing with Cyber Runway by supporting the best innovators, regardless of their background or geography, to thrive and grow.

Nick Morris, CEO at CyLon, said:

The UK’s cyber security ecosystem is at a critical and exciting point in its development, with both new challenges and new opportunities having arisen out of the pandemic. Through its Launch, Grow and Scale streams, we believe Cyber Runway will be able to help a diverse range of entrepreneurs, startups and scaleups capitalise on this.

Cyber Runway will support UK innovators to develop the crucial security technologies that will safeguard the future of our digital economy. We are very pleased to be a part of this initiative alongside DCMS and our fantastic partners Plexal, CSIT and Deloitte.

Louise Cushnahan, head of innovation at CSIT, said:

CSIT has a strong reputation for providing support to cyber startups through their various growth stages.

We are delighted to bring our expertise to Cyber Runway to collaborate with cyber companies and entrepreneurs bringing innovative cyber solutions to market.

Cyber Runway is part of the government’s wider work to develop the UK’s strength in cyber as we build back better after the pandemic and improve prosperity and security.

Expressions of interest from applicants, mentors and investors can now be made.

Notes to editors:

DCMS press office is on 020 7211 2210.

Cyber Runway follows a number of other DCMS-funded cyber programmes which have now completed. These include HutZero, Cyber 101 and Tech Nation’s cyber accelerator for scaleups.

Cyber Runway is looking for expressions of interest from potential applicants, mentors and investors.

New programme to spark wave of growth in UK’s thriving cyber sector – GOV.UK (