Issue details

Hereford Centre for Cyber Security – Joint Venture and Financial Arrangements

To approve the creation of a Joint Venture company between the council and the University of Wolverhampton to deliver and operate the Centre for Cyber Security at Hereford Enterprise Zone, with associated legal considerations and financial contribution from the council.

The University propose to develop a centre for cyber security located on the Hereford Enterprise Zone. The proposed site will form part of a national ‘Cyber Triangle’with GCHQ Cheltenham and the Government Cyber Centre in Newport, South Wales, and ‘Cyber Valley’ with Worcestershire. It will be an anchor building generating new research and short course opportunities that will feed into training and education in industry and within the University.

 

The Cyber Centre will be a cutting edge facility because it will offer over 1,000m2 of Research and Development floorspace in 3 cyber laboratories. The Centre will form an integral element of the Wolverhampton Cyber Research Institute where leading research will be conducted with a range of international business partners. Local, regional and national businesses will be able to buy cyber security training, participate in developing new technologies and try new products. This will be a benefit not only for the county’s existing local cyber industries but also local companies more generally which want to improve their cyber resilience.

 

The University are proposing that the centre for cyber security is undertaken as a joint venture with the council.  It is recommended that the council agree to take a direct role in the development and operation of the centre for cyber security through the establishment of a corporate partnership structure, which is proposed to take the form of a company limited by shares. This is recommended as the best model for the council to ensure that the centre for cyber security is developed as an asset which brings maximum economic benefits into the county and is complementary to other economic activity at the Hereford Enterprise Zone.

 

In July 2018 Council made provision within the capital programme of £3.5m to support the delivery of the centre for cyber security.

 

In August 2018 the Director for Economy, Communities and Corporate authorised the project to proceed to a due diligence phase to understand the options and implications for the council of this significant project. That due diligence work has been substantially completed and this report now seeks Cabinet authorisation to establish a joint venture company and related financial arrangements, with the finalisation of negotiations with the University to be delegated to the Acting Director of Economy and Place in consultation with the Chief Finance Officer and the Cabinet Member Economy and Communications.

Decision type: Key

Reason Key: Expenditure;

Decision status: Recommendations Approved (subject to call-in)

Notice of proposed decision first published: 13/11/2018

Decision due: 13 December 2018 by Cabinet

Lead member: Cabinet member economy and communication

Lead director: Director of Economy and Place

Department: Economy and Place

Contact: Sian Stroud Email: sian.stroud@herefordshire.gov.uk, Nick Webster, Economic development manager Email: nwebster@herefordshire.gov.uk Tel: 01432 260601.

Decisions

Agenda items

Documents

  • Hereford Centre for Cyber Security – Joint Venture and Financial Arrangements  

Background papers