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GCHQ has announced plans to build a new intelligence base in Manchester to bolster the country's defences against terror.

The security agency, commonly known as Britain's listening post, will open a new facility next year in the city struck by a bomb that killed 22 people.

Officials said the base would be "at the heart of the nation's security, using cutting-edge technology and technical ingenuity" to thwart threats.

Jeremy Flemming, the director of GCHQ, said he was "delighted" and the move would create hundreds of jobs.

:: 'How I coped with Manchester attack victims'

Image:Mr Flemming praised Manchester's response to the 2017 attack

"Our new facility will open up a huge new pool of highly talented, tech-savvy recruits vital to our future success," he said.

Mr Flemming also praised the city's response to the terror attack on an Arianna Grande concert at Manchester Arena last year.

He said: "Manchester is a city full of innovation and talent.

Ariana Grande performs on stage
Image:Manchester was targeted with a bomb at an Arianna Grande concert

"It is also a city known for its tolerance and inclusivity, which last year was tragically attacked by someone who had neither.

"In that difficult time, we at GCHQ drew strength from the togetherness and resilience shown by all of Manchester's communities. That's how you tackle terrorism."

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It will bring the total number of bases operated by the communications monitoring organisation to four – alongside the head office in Cheltenham and sites in Bude, Cornwall, and Scarborough, North Yorkshire.

GCHQ has been in the public eye more prominently in recent years, as increasing attention has been paid to terror-related activity on the Internet.

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