Cheltenham 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 of cementing Cheltenham’s place as 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.
Cheltenham MP Alex Chalk is delighted that the Department for Levelling Up, Housing and Communities has awarded Cheltenham Borough Council £20m in Government funding to build the Innovation Centre at the Cheltenham Cyber Park.
The Innovation Centre will provide a further permanent home for GCHQ in a modern ‘low-side’ site near the Doughnut that will combine government, industry and academia in one building.
As part of his cyber vision for Cheltenham, Mr Chalk has been championing the bid with his Cabinet and Ministerial colleagues and most recently called a meeting with the ‘Levelling Up’ Minister last week to press for funding.
During the meeting, Mr Chalk stated that although levelling up is not always immediately associated with Cheltenham, there are areas of intense deprivation; and although talent is evenly distributed, more needs to be done to unlock the equality.
Rt Hon Alex Chalk KC MP said: “After much lobbying behind the scenes, I am delighted that the Government is investing a further £20 million into the Cheltenham Cyber Park. It takes the total sum invested so far by Government into our town’s tech future to over £52 million.
“It’s so encouraging to see the Government getting behind the Cheltenham cyber and digital vision which I first set out in 2014. I believe passionately that growing this sector is one of the best ways to address the deprivation which exists in our town. It’s how we create opportunities for youngsters who may not have had the easiest start in life but are talented and prepared to work hard.
“We have already seen £3m invested by the Government in GlosCol’s Advanced Digital Academy, and a £24m infrastructure upgrade open the Cyber Park. £5.8 million has also been awarded to the University of Gloucestershire, to support a major new investment in their cyber, computing, engineering and digital facilities at the Park Campus.
“This major Government investment will all help our town deliver on the vision I set out in 2014: to protect our heritage, but rapidly embrace the opportunities of technology. That’s how we will be fit for the future.”