A plan to make Scarborough a “national centre of excellence for cyber security” is said to be progressing despite funding setbacks.

The pilot programme to create a cyber security cluster and make the town a “national centre of excellence” has been “a great success” despite concerns about funding, according to council leaders.

Last year, Scarborough Council approved the £237,000 project which it said would focus on creating “new opportunities, products, services and solutions to new and existing businesses”.

The now-defunct council also said that the creation of a proposed FabLab+ office facility on the site of the former Comet building would have “a pivotal role”, with £3.8m of Levelling Up funding proposed for its redevelopment.

However, the Government announced in January that Scarborough Council’s application for £20m of funding from the second round of the Levelling Up Fund had been unsuccessful putting the future of the scheme in doubt.

North Yorkshire Council’s executive member for open to business, Coun Derek Bastiman said: “We are proceeding with our plan of establishing a FabLab in Scarborough, which we hope will act as a hub for the development of a cyber cluster as part of our Towns Fund projects.

“Work continues on this, together with identifying and applying for further funds to support the ongoing development of the project.”

Speaking to the Local Democracy Reporting Service, Coun Bastiman said: “Earlier this year, we worked with Coventry University Scarborough, Anglo American, and local businesses to deliver a pilot programme across Scarborough on behalf of the North Yorkshire Cyber Security Network.

“From this pilot project, a good understanding of cyber-security support provision and needs across the area have been developed and about 35 organisations have participated in the development of this work.”

The council has said that it is working with several partners, including GCHQ Scarborough, to help create the cyber security cluster which would have “a specialist focus on operational technology”.

Coun Bastiman, who represents Scalby and the Coast division, said that the authority had also been holding face-to-face engagement sessions with members of the public and 300 students, to raise awareness of and to consider careers in cyber security.

He added: “We have also seen 19 Small and Medium Enterprises (SMEs) supported to implement the steps needed to protect their business and customers from online attacks, through working towards their Cyber Essentials certification.”