MALVERN is set to be in the forefront of plans to explore the next generation of communication technology in Worcester.

The government is backing Malvern’s fifth generation, or 5G, mobile phone trials with a £5 million boost.

The cash will see 5G technologies developed at Malvern Hills Science Park before it is rolled out to the rest of the country.

The project bid, led by Worcestershire Local Enterprise Partnership, will allow companies to test the technology in and around the science park off Geraldine Road.

QinetiQ, the defence technology company, will use the 5G network to test advanced cyber security applications.

MP Harriett Baldwin has has worked closely with the four major mobile phone operators to enhance their local coverage, and the plans to use Worcestershire as a test centre were first suggested at a meeting with the operators in Pershore two years ago.

She said: "Malvern has been at the heart of technological innovation for eight decades so it is great to open another chapter in the town’s history with these 5G trials.

“This is great news for the town and a wonderful boost for the county’s innovators who can get to grips with the benefits that will come from 5G technology first hand.

“I look forward to seeing the plans for this project develop and hopefully this will draw major companies to choose Malvern for their expansion plans.

“Alongside this major news, the mobile operators continue to roll out 4G and I hope that with this announcement, local people will see faster roll out of traditional networks in urban and rural areas across Worcestershire.”

Mark Stansfeld, chairman of the local enterprise partnership, said: “We are delighted to have been successful in our bid to help businesses deliver greater productivity using 5G technologies. This highlights the huge ambition of Worcestershire’s innovative public and private sector.

“5G connectivity is set to revolutionise the way that future business will operate both in the UK and globally with key Worcestershire employers leading the way.

"I believe that the introduction of these technologies will have an extremely positive impact in allowing businesses to create new innovative products, raise productivity and improve economic growth."