Published on 20th November 2023
The council is excited that £20m has been provisionally awarded to help super-charge the first phase of the national cyber innovation centre at the heart of the Golden Valley Development.
This funding is from the Department for Levelling Up, Housing and Communities.
Cllr Max Wilkinson, cabinet member for economic development, culture, tourism and wellbeing, said: “This is unequivocally good news for Cheltenham.
“Cheltenham Borough Council has led this project from the start, most recently working with partners HBDxF.
“We have worked hard locally to ensure the Golden Valley project will build on our town’s strength as a centre for cyber and technology.
“The £20million the government has now pledged for the innovation centre will sit alongside investment by the council of £130m.
“It will help us deliver jobs and prosperity for local people.”
The innovation centre and Golden Valley Development has a wider regional and national importance as part of cementing Cheltenham’s place as part of a key part of the UK’s cyber and technology cluster.
The centre will be a catalyst for bringing greater prosperity to Cheltenham and the neighbouring wards in west Cheltenham, as well as for the entire region.
The proposed development, covering 47ha, will deliver a diverse innovation district, comprising over 1 million sq. ft. of commercial space. It will attract businesses with a focus on science and technology in particular, building on the existing specialist cluster in cyber.
New homes will also be an important element of the project, providing over 1,000 sustainable properties to rent and buy as part of a new garden community. All this will be situated within an extensive network of green open spaces with community amenities and a new primary school also featuring in the masterplan.
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The National Cyber Innovation Centre, will sit at the heart of a thriving campus, building further on Gloucestershire’s reputation as a hotspot for cyber business. Gloucestershire is home to the largest number of cyber businesses in the UK outside of London, making Cheltenham the ideal location for the industry to scale up.
Located adjacent to the iconic GCHQ building known affectionately as ‘The Doughnut’, Golden Valley is easily accessible by train and road with fast direct connectivity to Bristol, Birmingham, London and other key parts of the country, and within 90 minutes of 20 universities, it’s also ideally placed to attract a wealth of talent, expanding this high-value, high-growth industry.
The Council’s investment in West Cheltenham and associated Cyber projects includes:
- the purchase of the land totalling £40m adjacent to GCHQ where the new National Cyber Innovation Centre will be built
- a recent funding commitment of up to £95m to enable construction of the first phase of the Golden Valley Development to include the NCIC
- over £8m to develop the Minister Quarter in the town centre through the construction of the MX - a new cyber and tech innovation space, and through the purchase of Poundland to enhance and develop the highstreet
Currently valued at over £10bn, the UK is one of the largest, most concentrated, and accessible cyber security markets in the world, with a reputation for academic excellence and incident management that makes it a leading global player in cyber security. The UK cyber security market is rapidly expanding; Golden Valley will play a key role in the continued growth and evolution of the sector and the UK’s capabilities, attracting inward investment and supporting the development of science and technology industry skills and expertise.
Property developer HBD is part of the Henry Boot Group. It is one of the country’s most successful and well-established developers with a proven track record in the delivery of large-scale regeneration projects across the UK. HBDxF is the appointed development partner for Golden Valley and will lead on the delivery of the first phase of the £1bn project.