The Tay Cities Region Joint Committee has approved two new rural broadband projects and a cybersecurity initiative.
The Angus and Perth & Kinross High Speed Broadband programmes are aimed at providing gigabit-speed digital connectivity to over 150 public buildings to help develop knowledge-intensive businesses across the region.
BT will deliver the connections to rural buildings across Angus and Perth and Kinross and SSE (now NeosNetworks) is delivering the project in Perth.
The infrastructure will be built using £5.9 million of UK Government funding, including £2 million from the Tay Cities Deal and a further £3.9 million from its Local Full Fibre Network (LFFN) programme.
In addition, the cyberQuarter project, led by Abertay University in Dundee, has also received funding. This is designed to attract existing cybersecurity firms to the Tay Cities Region, support the creation of new companies, boost the security and resilience of the Scottish business community and facilitate the creation of new products and services through innovation-led research.
With the world facing a significant shortage of skilled cybersecurity graduates, the cyberQuarter will offer companies access to the best student and graduate talent from Abertay University’s Division of Cyber Security, which was recently recognised as Scotland’s first gold-level Academic Centre of Excellence in Cyber Security Education by the National Cyber Security Centre (part of GCHQ).
Students coming from Abertay’s partner colleges and through upskilling/reskilling routes will also benefit from the cyberQuarter.
The Scottish Government will commit up to £6 million and the UK Government up to £5.7 million to the project, with Abertay University the other main funder.
Principal of Abertay University and Chair of the Tay Cities Higher and Further Education Forum Professor Nigel Seaton said: “The cyberQuarter has the potential to establish Dundee as a significant UK cybersecurity hub, adding a new dimension to the city’s reputation for excellence in technology.
“We have seen, through the expansion of the Dundee video games sector, that great things can happen when industry expertise is mixed with academic research, a strong graduate talent pipeline and enterprise support. The cyberQuarter will provide a hub where this type of collaboration and innovation can thrive.”
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Combined, the three projects will help create new jobs and enterprise opportunities in the area.
Economy Secretary Kate Forbes said: “I’m delighted that these projects have been given the go-ahead by the Tay Cities Region Deal. Over the last year, we have seen the invaluable role of digital connectivity in modern society.
“Our support for the cyberQuarter project at Abertay University will enable innovation in this crucial sector, building on the region’s expertise to support research, create new businesses, and deliver high-quality jobs.
“I’m particularly pleased to see inclusive growth at the heart of the University’s plans, both their commitment to ensuring local residents benefit from the jobs they will create, and their efforts to close the gender gap in the cybersecurity sector.”