Friday 26 March 2021 11:24 am

Ofcom to build Manchester tech hub as it gears up for new online role

Ofcom today unveiled plans to open a new tech hub in Manchester as it prepares to take on its new role as the UK’s first online regulator.

The media watchdog said its new base, which is set to be up and running by the summer, will create 150 new jobs by 2025.

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The organisation will also be expanding in Cardiff, Belfast and Edinburgh with a range of new roles across its remit.

It comes as Ofcom, which regulates communications in the UK ranging from broadcasting and telecoms to the postal service, gears up for new duties as online harms regulator.

The remit will give Ofcom responsibility for tackling the spread of harmful material on social media platforms and uphold a legal duty of care of companies such as Facebook and Google over their users.

The watchdog is also taking on a new role ensuring telecoms firms have adequate cybersecurity.

Ofcom, which is headquartered in Southwark, said it had picked Manchester for its skilled workforce and the research strengths of its universities.

Some of Ofcom’s partner organisations – including GCHQ and the National Cyber Security Centre – already have Manchester bases.

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“We’re delighted to be preparing for a new digital and technology hub in Manchester,” said chief executive Dame Melanie Dawes.

“We want to tap into the huge array of tech, digital and data talent in the city, as we prepare for pioneering new work around online safety and security.”