A US computer security firm has announced plans to set up a data centre in Newport as well as its European headquarters in Cardiff, creating new jobs in both cities.

The Texan security company Alert Logic, which helps its customers defend against I.T. security threats, is set to build a state-of-the-art operations centre in the Welsh capital together with a UK data centre in Newport.

The project is backed by £1.15 million business finance from Welsh Government and will help the company to expand into European, the Middle East and Africa.

The government funding is to create 122 jobs in Cardiff and towards equipment costs of setting up the data centre in the Next Generation Data facility in Newport.

This will become the primary European data centre and will create five additional highly-paid jobs, according to a statement released today.

Announcing the investment, economy minister Edwina Hart said she was delighted the firm had chosen Wales for this "significant expansion" and that funding from the Welsh Government helped secure the "inward investment project" for Wales.

Alert Logic, which employs around 350 people worldwide, plans to recruit 50 researchers and analysts this year followed by further recruitment in 2015.

"The company has a global customer base and the management team found Cardiff offered the perfect solution, with Newport their preferred location for their primary European data centre," said Ms Hart.

"South Wales has a high concentration of active and innovative companies and university expertise in the trust and security sector. The region has a growing recognition as one of the primary locations in the UK for the research, development and commercialisation of security products and services.

"This major inward investment project will significantly enhance our reputation and importantly offer quality, well-paid jobs."

Gray Hall, the company's chief executive, said the area was a natural choice given its close proximity to London, transport links, skilled workforce and universities "at the cutting edge of research into cyber security".