Business leaders at Skylon Park today welcomed a new report which  revealed the UK’s growing cyber industry attracted record investment last year despite the global pandemic.

The DCMS Annual Cyber Sector Report, which tracks the UK’s cyber security industry, found the number of active firms in the sector increased by 21 per cent in the last year.

Andrew Manning Cox is Chairman of the Hereford Enterprise Zone, Skylon Park, which is home to the new £9m Cyber Quarter – Midlands Centre for Cyber Security.

He said: “The report shows how vital the fast-growing cyber sector is to the national economic recovery, worth an estimated £8.9 billion, with a record £800 million of investment raised by firms.

“This region has already been identified as the fastest growing hotspot for cyber outside London, so it holds enormous potential for Herefordshire’s future prosperity too.

“Skylon Park is the only enterprise zone in the UK which has a defence and security sector focus.

“We are seeing high numbers of enquiries from potential investors currently – both looking to invest on Cyber Quarter as well as take advantage of some of the specialist services on offer to help protect businesses from cyber threats at the new centre too.”

The new report showed a nine per cent rise in employment in the industry with more than 3,800 new full time jobs created, bringing the total number of people working in the sector to 46,683.

The sector is now worth an estimated £8.9 billion, with a record £800 million of investment raised by firms.

Digital Minister Matt Warman, at the launch of the report, said: “The need for cutting-edge cyber security has never been greater and this resilient sector is growing, diversifying and solidifying its status as a jewel in the UK’s tech crown.

“With more than 3,800 new jobs created, firms – large and small – are doing vital work keeping people and businesses secure online so we can build back safer from the pandemic.”

The main findings from the report are:

  • Despite the current economic climate, 2020 was a new record year for cyber security investment with UK cyber security businesses raising over £821 million across 73 deals – more than twice that raised in 2019
  • The sector’s total annual revenue has continued to rise (by 7 per cent), reaching £8.9 billion within the most recent financial year
  • The sector contributed more than £4 billion to the economy – up 6 per cent in the last year, with mainly mature firms driving growth
  • The majority (65 per cent) of the 46,683 cyber workforce are employed by large firms (250+ employees).