Published on 29th September 2023

View of Cheltenham from Leckhampton Hill

Funding for development agreed at Full Council.

A funding agreement to bring forward the development of land at Golden Valley was agreed at Full Council yesterday. The agreement plays a fundamental role in securing the delivery of two critical buildings; the National Cyber Innovation Centre and Mobility Hub, through a framework which allows funding to be provided from a range of sources. This could include borrowing and the sale of other council assets (if certain conditions are met) within an envelope of up to £95m.

The Golden Valley development will create a vibrant garden community, centred around growth, training and careers, affordable housing, regeneration, community integration and net zero development. At its heart will be the National Cyber Innovation Centre, the UK home of cyber, digital and creative sectors, and the Mobility Hub which will provide parking, promote active travel across the development and improve transport connections across the wider community.

In the current climate, the Innovation Centre and Mobility Hub have a vital role to play in the delivery of the Golden Valley vision. They will provide investment returns to the council, protecting tax payers’ money in the long term, and play a vital role in building a stronger local economy with opportunities that will benefit the entire town.

The newly approved development funding agreement sets out a legal framework that offers governance and assurance between the borough council as landowner and the developer. The framework sets out a number of conditions that must be satisfied before development proceeds.

Councillor Mike Collins, cabinet member for cyber, regeneration and commercial income at Cheltenham Borough Council said: ‘’I am pleased that we have taken a huge step forward in the delivery of our Golden Valley ambitions and now have a development funding agreement to enable us to move forward with this first phase.  This is significant and will give us assurance on a number of levels. Funding a project of this scale and nature comes with associated risk but this agreement provides us with a number of protections through a variety of clauses and conditions that must be satisfied before any funding is provided.’’

Matt Bellshaw, director at HBD, said: “It’s fantastic to see the funding agreement signed off – Golden Valley is one of the UK’s most exciting new developments and we look forward to continuing to work alongside the council, key stakeholders and the community to bring the vision to life.”

Central to the protections provided by the funding agreement is a cap in case construction costs increase.

The full report can be viewed on the council’s website.

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