Published on 9th June 2022
In February 2017 GFirst LEP successfully secured £23.6 million of Growth Deal funding to deliver the West Cheltenham Transport Improvement Scheme (WCTIS), the LEP’s largest investment project to date.
This very significant investment was committed to accelerate the release of employment land to house the Cheltenham Cyber Business Park whilst also reducing congestion on the A40 corridor and supporting cycling and walking along the route.
Gloucestershire County Council, as the highway authority, has subsequently progressed the planning and delivery of the scheme from Business Case approval to delivery of the works.
On Monday 6 June 2022, GFirst LEP and project partners, Gloucestershire County Council, Atkins Ltd, Alun Griffiths Ltd, Knights Brown Construction Ltd and Cheltenham Borough Council came together to formally mark the completion of the West Cheltenham Transport Improvement Scheme.
By bringing forward improvements to the transport network, this project will accelerate the initial phases of development of the 45 hectares of employment land allocated within the West Cheltenham area.
The £23.6m Growth Fund investment will leverage in tens of millions of further investment from both the private and public sector to create Cyber Central UK, “the home of UK Cyber Technology” and the wider Golden Valley Development. The development is expected to eventually support over 11,000 jobs and will deliver 4000 new homes.
The funding has delivered a comprehensive suite of improvements to the transport network along the A40 corridor between M5 Junction 11 and the Benhall Roundabout, with cycling and walking infrastructure improvements linking all the way to Lansdown Rail Bridge.
Improvements delivered include the following:
- Arle Court Roundabout and Benhall Roundabout remodelling
- Hatherley Lane and Telstar Way widening
- B4063 bus priority to Arle Court
- A40 Park and Ride access
- Telstar Way to Benhall roundabout eastbound carriageway widening- M5 J11 to Arle Court eastbound carriageway widening - Cycle and pedestrian infrastructure improvements from Arle Court to Lansdown Rail Bridge
David Owen CEO of GFirst LEP, said: "This investment of £23.6million is the largest of all our project investments and has funded the necessary road infrastructure to deliver this ambitious scheme for the county. Cheltenham is internationally recognised as the 'cradle of cyber innovation for the UK'. The cyber-tech sector even prior to the COVID-19 pandemic offered the county huge potential, but moving forward, the sector will be even more important. To see this project delivered on time and in budget shows the power of collaboration and the hard work of all our project partners.”
Tim Atkins, managing director place and growth at Cheltenham Borough Council, said: “These critical infrastructure improvements are the first major step in the Golden Valley Development, enabling the delivery of the National Cyber Innovation Centre at the heart of its first phase. In particular, the work done to improve journeys for active transport users will be invaluable as part of the Golden Valley Garden Community we will build here in west Cheltenham. This project has come about through a fantastic collaboration between the councils, GFirst LEP and private developers which demonstrates how we can achieve outstanding results by working together.”
Councillor Mark Hawthorne, leader of Gloucestershire County Council, said: “Completion of this vital scheme by the county council is a real milestone for Gloucestershire. I’m grateful for the support of GFirst LEP and to our highways teams, partners Atkins, and our contractors, Knights Brown Construction and Alun Griffiths for their hard work in delivering this project which will be a massive boost for the economy, jobs the environment and cycling and walking.”
If you would like to find out more about how GFirst LEP supports Gloucestershire through sustainable economic growth please visit www.gfirstlep.com.