The Minster Exchange
The Minster Exchange — MX for short — is a unique urban rejuvenation scheme set to open in late summer 2022, as the centrepiece of the Council’s post-Covid recovery strategy.
In a pioneering joint venture between the public and private sector, Cheltenham Borough Council partnered with Workshop Cheltenham (WSC) to deliver the modular unit build.
The £6.8million MX project is partly funded from a jointly crafted government funding bid. Resulting in grants totalling £3.514million from the government’s ‘Getting Building Fund’ and from the Growth Hub via GFirst LEP — Gloucestershire’s Local Enterprise Partnership.
The finished build will deliver over 20,000 ft2 of innovative co-working spaces for the cyber tech, digital and creative sectors, a Growth Hub to support business development and a multi-functional performance and event space.
A Home for Cheltenham Tech and Festivals
The Minster Exchange will also provide a new home for Cheltenham Festivals to deliver a programme of events throughout the year and a platform to support its education and outreach initiatives.
The cyber sector and industries focused on the commercial use of digital technologies are increasingly important and make a valuable economic contribution to the UK’s international competitiveness.
Here in Gloucestershire, we have six times the level of cyber businesses than anywhere else in the UK, with Cheltenham at the heart of this network. The MX scheme wil be uniquely positioned to act as a beacon in the town for the forthcoming Golden Valley Cyber development.
“The Minster Exchange will enable a variety of activities and initiatives. It will bring together high growth companies in the cyber tech, digital and creative sectors on the one part and academia and the wider community on the other to create the ideal platform for organic growth, collaboration and serendipity to occur in one place.”
Director of Workshop Cheltenham
ThE minster gardens
The Minster Gardens, the neighbouring open space to the MX, which surrounds St Mary’s Church. Is also set to benefit from the Minster Exchange build.
With plans to create more social space, additional paths and lighting across the gardens, and a range of seating so that everyone can enjoy the grounds, the Minster Gardens project is receiving up to £229,000 of funding from the England European Regional Development Fund (ERDF).
The aim of the extensive planting scheme is to boost existing habitats and increase wildlife and biodiversity, whilst conserving the rich history of this site.
Gloucestershire County Council is assisting the project by funding upgrades to existing paths and lighting, including the restoration of the five Grade II Listed Dragon and Onion Lamp posts situated within the churchyard.