GLOUCESTERSHIRE – MAGNET COUNTY
As a county with a prosperous and resilient economy set within a highly attractive natural environment, Gloucestershire is a great place to live, work and invest. Its pivotal location – with Birmingham to the north, Bristol to the south, Oxford to the east and Cardiff to the west – makes Gloucestershire one of the best connected counties anywhere in the UK.
As a county, Gloucestershire’s economic output was £16.48 billion in 2017, supporting 344,000 jobs (one of the highest rates of employment across the southwest) across 33,000 businesses. These include a number of global brands covering diverse sectors including Ecclesiastical Insurance, UCAS, GCHQ, SuperGroup Plc, Renishaw, GE Aviation, Bottle Green, Endsleigh Insurance, Unilever, Moog, Mira Showers, Messier Bugatti-Dowty and Horizon Nuclear Power.
But Gloucestershire is also home to thousands of thriving start-ups, with the best three-year business survival rate in England. The county’s Growth Hub network enables businesses to achieve their true growth potential, and is a single point of contact for over 26,000 businesses and new start-ups, offering key business support services.
With a strong history of global innovation, Gloucestershire continues to stand at the forefront of technology while maintaining a green, beautiful environment. As a county, our ambition is to be a ‘magnet county’ that attracts and retains young talent and supports all its residents to live life to the fullest.
As a county, Gloucestershire excels in four strategic sectors: agri-tech, cyber-tech, advanced manufacturing and renewable energy.
Gloucestershire houses the UK’s largest network of agri-tech SMEs and two agriculturally focused universities, making the county the first choice for prominent agri-tech businesses. The county is also at the forefront of the UK’s cyber-tech industry, with a highly established cyber ecosystem at the centre of which is Cheltenham, GCHQ and the emerging Golden Valley Development – home of Cyber Central UK.
With an outstanding reputation for hosting highly innovative businesses, Gloucestershire has already become a key base for world-class manufacturing companies like GE Aviation, Moog, Renishaw and Spirax-Sarco. And we’re also putting clean growth at the heart of our growt, building on the capabilities of reputed local green companies – such as Ecotricity, McKerrow Engineering, Tidal Lagoon Power and Green Fuels – so that we can create business development opportunities for a more sustainable future.
GFirst LEP is the Local Enterprise Partnership for Gloucestershire, and was set up by central government in 2011 to drive economic growth in the county, create jobs and provide real opportunity for businesses in the region.
The Gloucestershire Strategic Economic Plan (SEP) represents the business plan to 2022, while the draft Local Industrial Strategy sets out a roadmap for the county’s longer term economic growth.
Since its formation, GFirst has secured more than £100 million through the Gloucestershire Growth Deal and over €40 million in European funding which has been invested in a number of projects and improved infrastructure to support economic growth across the county. Investments to date have included developing roads and transport infrastructure throughout the region, launching organisations like The Growth Hub that offer invaluable business advice, and building training and education facilities that will promote Gloucestershire’s future champions.
TOP EDUCATION ESTABLISHMENTS
Gloucestershire is home to a number of leading universities and schools, providing education opportunities for both local and international students.
The University of Gloucestershire provides cutting edge facilities, and over 95% of its graduates are in employment or further education within six months of graduating. Gloucestershire College has also established strong links with GCHQ and neighbouring universities to develop accredited cyber courses and a new Cyber Security Degree Apprenticeship.
Gloucestershire is also proud to be the home of numerous specialist facilities, including Royal Agricultural University, the world’s oldest agricultural university, Hartpury University and Hartpury College, which specialises in equine education, and SGS Berkeley Green, a specialist engineering, digital technologies and cyber security college.