Chancellor of the Exchequer Phillip Hammond MP has praised Cheltenham’s “cutting edge” Cyber Innovation Centre and heralded the “world class” work of GCHQ in defending Britain’s security. Mr Hammond was responding to questions from Cheltenham MP Alex Chalk in the House of Commons.
Alex Chalk raised the issue in Parliament last week. He asked the Chancellor if he supported Cheltenham’s Cyber Innovation Centre, and whether he felt that that spending on “our world-class defence and security assets, such as GCHQ, can play a vital role in nurturing the high-tech civilian jobs of tomorrow?”
The Chancellor described the vision behind the Cyber Innovation Centre as a “cutting edge business sector” initiative. He agreed that GCHQ was “truly a world-class facility, and using that facility not only to ensure Britain’s security but to create a cutting-edge business sector is an entirely sensible thing to do.”
Alex Chalk commented: “I’m delighted by the Chancellor’s endorsement of our work here in Cheltenham. Getting the support of the country’s top ‘money-man’ is very important. As he said in Parliament, he already knows first-hand the great work of our teams at GCHQ through his previous role as Foreign Secretary. Getting his backing for the Cyber Innovation Centre is a great boost.”
Alex Chalk added: “I want Cheltenham to be at the heart of the UK’s cyber future, generating more high quality jobs and investment into the town. The Cyber innovation Centre has a big part to play in that vision. Having such clear backing from the Chancellor of the Exchequer will encourage companies to invest in that vision and build market confidence.”