The council is excited that £20m has been provisionally awarded from the Department for Levelling Up, Housing and Communities to help super-charge the first phase of Cheltenham’s National Cyber Innovation Centre at the heart of the Golden Valley Development in west Cheltenham.
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, building on the existing specialist cluster in cyber.
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.
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 featured in the master plan.
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.