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SUMMER EDITION OUT NOW
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Spring 2021
News

Paul Coles

English Regions Director
BT

THE OUTPOST – A MEETING OF MINDS

Businesses in the South West welcome the opportunities and growth that Cyber Central will bring. We hosted a discussion between Bruce Gregory, MD at Hub8, and Paul Coles, English Regions Director at BT, to check on the consensus.”

XO: So Bruce, can we begin with just a little background about Hub8? What is it and why is it so important to Cheltenham & Gloucestershire?

Bruce: Hub8 is the physical manifestation of the flourishing cyber tech community in Cheltenham and the wider region. It’s delivered in partnership with CyNam (Cyber Cheltenham) which is a non-profit organisation. Hub8 really is supercharging the community – it’s a critical platform to enable the sector to grow in anticipation of Cyber Central.

Paul: Speaking on behalf of BT, this is a really exciting location in the town and the South West. BT are incredibly excited to be here actually. You’re at full capacity aren’t you?

Bruce: By April we will be very close to full which really demonstrates the demand for an innovative workspace that enables start-ups to scale without friction and SMEs and global giants true flexibility.

XO: And how many months did it take you to get to this point?

Bruce: We opened just over 4 months ago in September 2019 and the community is really burgeoning; with global giants including Sopra Steria, DXC, Capita and SCC to some of the UK’s most exciting SMEs such as Immersive Labs, Deep3 and SureVine to start-ups that are scaling rapidly including Aquilai, iHackLabs and Trust Stamp that have come through the NCSC Cyber Accelerator (based in Cheltenham).

XO: BT is taking cyber in Cheltenham seriously too, Paul?

Paul: We’ve been hugely committed to the area for a number of years, we have something like 8,000 employees in the region so I’m really excited about developments like Hub8 and Cyber Central. We’ve got something like 3,000 cyber specialists and 16 security operation centres across the globe, yet Cheltenham is somewhere we really put a lot of focus on.

XO: Does the success of Hub8 naturally lead on to a development like Cyber Central?

Bruce: Definitely, that’s our vision and a vision that is shared by key stakeholders who will be influential in the delivery of Cyber Central. Hub8 needs to keep on scaling and we’re excited to deliver Phase II in Q4 this year with plans for additional space in 2021. We’re supercharging the community ready for Cyber Central in 2023.

Paul: If Cyber Central ends up being a place where businesses turn up and do their stuff then that’s great, but it would be even better if it became a convening point – not just for the South West or for the UK but globally. There’ll be brilliant brands here and at BT we’d love to see a lot of outreach, not just to pupils who could be the cyber specialists of the future, but to businesses that are concerned about cyber and want to make online transactions secure.

Bruce
: Like Hub8, it’s not just about the workspace, it’s the events, it’s the whole community. We’re working in partnership with NCSC and CyNam to support the Cyber Schools Hub initiative to inspire the next generation towards careers in cyber tech.

Paul
: That’s right. The links with schools too. There are lots of children sitting in primary school right now thinking, “What is my future going to be?” Well, there’s a huge, exciting future in cyber for them right here. One of the really exciting opportunities for Cheltenham is how it gets the education system to flow from primary to secondary and tertiary education to produce the type of future employees that people need in the future.

BT AND CYBER SECURITY


BT’s Skills for Tomorrow programme is designed to help children, parents and employers be fully equipped for the digital world.

BT deflects around 4,000 cyberattacks every single day.

BT prevents 135 million connections to malware sites every month.

BT is the third highest spender in R&D across every sector.

BT has held world records for the highest speeds across fibre connectivity.

DID YOU KNOW?


Cyber security has been in BT’s DNA for 70 years. It was a member of staff at BT, or the Post Office as it was known then, who created Colossus, the world’s first

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