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Spooky Coincidence? Massive New Manchester Spy Centre Revealed

GCHQ's Cheltenham headquarters

Was it just a lucky coincidence that 10 days after Bisnow's run-down of Manchester's top spy properties, the government communication interception and cybersecurity organisation GCHQ announced plans to launch a new Northern base in Manchester? In the strange mirrored world of spies and spooks anything is possible.

The new secure site in the north west of England will be at the heart of the nation’s security, using cutting-edge technology and technical ingenuity to identify and disrupt threats to the U.K., GCHQ Director Jeremy Flemming said.

GCHQ's aim is for the planned site in Manchester to open in 2019, bringing hundreds of new jobs to the area.

The Manchester location will extend GCHQ’s network of sites in the U.K., which includes a headquarters in Cheltenham and offices in Bude in Cornwall and Scarborough. Last year, the National Cyber Security Centre, which is part of GCHQ, opened its new headquarters near Victoria in London.

As Bisnow reported on 2 April, NCSC already has a Manchester base, at the Soapworks, the 400K SF office redevelopment in Salford.

MI5 are reported by the Secret Bases website to be based in out-of-town offices at Pilswporth, Bury, and the hunt for a secure site could take GCHQ in the same out-of-town direction. The airport is thought to be a likely location.