Published on 23rd February 2017

People shaking hands

Working together, Gfirst LEP, Cheltenham Borough Council, Gloucestershire County Council and Cheltenham Development Taskforce have secured funds for the development of a ‘honeypot’ cyber hub for Gloucestershire.

This positive joint working has resulted in a successful growth bid via the Local Enterprise Partnership to facilitate a cyber hub and high tech growth in the west of the town.
The proposal was fully supported by council members and the business community as it has the ability to deliver significant economic growth for Cheltenham.

The funding gives Cheltenham a unique opportunity to create a cyber business park on 45 hectares of land proposed to be close to GCHQ. It will act as a ‘honeypot’ for cyber security and high tech supply chain businesses.

Cheltenham is a national centre of expertise in cyber security, the home of GCHQ, and hosts an established financial services sector which places cyber security as a very high priority.
In autumn 2015, the then chancellor of the exchequer visited Cheltenham and announced the creation of the national cyber innovation centre, one of two in the country that would capitalise on the high intensity of cyber specialists within and associated with GCHQ.

Councillor Steve Jordan, leader of Cheltenham Borough Council, said: “The proposed West Cheltenham development of a cyber zone is of both national and local importance and I am delighted that this had been recognised though the award of Growth Deal funding. This funding will be vital in putting in place the essential infrastructure to enable this development to integrate into the existing local community.

“The site is set out in the Joint Core Strategy (JCS) which goes out to consultation next week, and debate will take place on future delivery with the appointed planning inspector later this year.”

Tim Atkins, managing director for place and economic development, says: “This award is the result of some great collaborative work between Gfirst LEP, Cheltenham Borough Council and the county council, with considerable support from the Cheltenham Development Taskforce.

“This is a most welcome announcement which fits into the larger strategic jigsaw involving the JCS, which encompasses the need for employment land and opportunity to further develop cyber expertise. This cyber hub will put Cheltenham at the forefront of cyber developments nationally.”

For media enquiries contact: Laura Carter, communications officer 01242 264154 or [email protected]

Notes to editors

GFirst LEP, Gloucestershire’s Local Enterprise Partnership, brings together businesses to make the county successful and create jobs. It is led by the business community in partnership with the education and public sectors to help Gloucestershire realise its economic potential.

The scheme has been progressed through the JCS process and is identified as emerging strategic allocation A11 in the JCS Main Modifications Consultation. The consultation will run for six weeks from Monday 27 February to Monday 10 April. The inclusion of the site in the plan, along with this successful growth bid funding will be integral to its strategic planning and rapid sustainable delivery.