Major projects & developments
A number of major projects and key developments continue to revitalise Cheltenham, providing the infrastructure and conditions for economic growth. At the forefront of this investment are the plans for a new campus and cyber-tech community, Cyber Central – a 45 hectare site at the heart of the 200 hectare Golden Valley development to the west of the town and adjacent to GCHQ. The Council recently bought the land on which the site will be developed for £37.5m seizing a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity to create a world-leading cyber-tech hub in Cheltenham.
Major investments in Cheltenham’s transport infrastructure are also progressing, including creating a new four-way entry/exit at J10 of the M5; improved access and sustainable transport options along the A40 into Cheltenham and the long-awaited dualling of the A417.
Elsewhere in the town, an enabling and forward thinking approach has helped to bring forward a number of new office developments, including the 70,000 sq ft Quadrangle, 63,000 sq ft Honeybourne Place and funky, award-winning Formal House.
There’s also the emerging 20,000 sq ft mixed-use Minster Innovation Exchange development and the appropriately titled Hub8 (a nod to the famous Hut 8, home of the code breakers at Bletchley Park) – a new co-working space for the cyber-tech industry, which, alongside its neighbour the international beauty brand SLG, now occupies 7,000 sq ft of Cheltenham’s Brewery Quarter development.
The Golden Valley Development
The vision for the Golden Valley is to create a mixed use development integrating the Cyber Central campus as part of an innovative garden community comprising of 2 million sq ft of commercial accommodation and over 3,000 new homes that challenges the existing norms relating to design and sustainability.
This first phase brings 45 hectares of council owned land along with a further commitment of up to £180M of investment into housing as we spearhead our economic recovery.
The UK Government is investing £1.9bn in the cyber sector and the Golden Valley Development is key part of this. The development site will supercharge the sector growth, bringing innovators, businesses and academia together into the new UK sector capital – Cyber Central.
Major investments in Cheltenham’s transport infrastructure are underway, including the £22m West Cheltenham Transport Improvement Scheme (WCTIS) which is helping to unlock the Golden Valley Development site and includes carriageway, walking and cycling improvements.
In the 2020 Budget, the UK Government also gave the go-ahead to a new four-way entry/exit at J10 of the M5 as well as the long-awaited dualling of the A417 between Brockworth and Cowley – opening up additional access routes from both the North and South of Cheltenham.
Major upgrades to Cheltenham Spa station are also set to complete in 2020, including additional car parking capacity, extra bike storage, improved pedestrian access and a more accessible bus interchange.
MINSTER INNOVATION EXCHANGE
The Minster Innovation Exchange is a £5.2 million flagship scheme in the heart of Cheltenham town centre. The scheme will repurpose an under-used town centre location through the delivery of 20,000 sq.ft of purpose-built commercial space including flexible workspaces, a 300-person capacity performance arena, cafe, community and education space. It will connect to the High Street through upgraded historic linkages from the Cheltenham Minster grounds whilst also acting as a pilot for developments at the Cyber Central campus.
It is the brainchild of locally based Workshop Group which is also responsible for Hub8, the cyber innovation space located in Cheltenham’s Brewery Quarter. Working in close partnership with Gloucestershire County Council and the GFirst Local Enterprise Partnership, the project has been accelerated having secured £3.114 million from the government’s £900 million nationwide ‘Getting Building Fund’.
The Quadrangle, a 1970s landmark, has been sensitively re-imagined to create a contemporary, 70,000 sq ft commercial space in the very heart of Cheltenham.
Four storeys of premium office space have been designed to meet the needs of Cheltenham’s vibrant 21st century business community. Its prime location offers exceptional retail and café venues on the ground floor, with the exciting addition of a roof-top restaurant offering diners views across the tree tops of Montpellier.
New secondary school
Kier Construction has been selected as preferred contractor on the new secondary school project in Cheltenham. The 900-pupil school in Leckhampton will house pupils from Years 7-11 and be run by Balcarras Academy Trust.
This achievement through the Southern Contractors Framework builds on Kier’s existing relationship working on the Gloucestershire County Council Framework where they have successfully completed over 50 projects in the past 15 years.
Addressing climate change, the buildings will be highly efficient and incorporate renewable energy technologies.
Construction has commenced with the aim for the school to be open for a September 2022 intake.
CHELTENHAM GENERAL HOSPITAL
As part of the £39m transformation of the county’s hospitals, Kier Construction has been selected to carry out works at Cheltenham General Hospital. Two new theatres and a day surgery unit will be created to help reduce waiting lists and result in fewer operations being cancelled.
The contract was procured on the P22 framework on which Kier has been awarded 34 schemes in the last four years, comprising over 100 projects with a value of over £851m.
Kier will also carry out works at Gloucestershire Royal Hospital to improve the emergency department and acute medical care facilities.
Works are expected to begin mid 2021, targeting the facilities to be open in 2023.
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