£20 million secured to kick start building of Cheltenham's National Cyber Innovation Centre

Cheltenham Borough Council is moving forward with its £1 billion project to turn the town into 'the cyber capital of the UK', having signed an agreement to secure £20 million in Levelling Up funding to build its landmark National Cyber Innovation Centre.

By Jake Chown  |  Published
At the heart of Cheltenham's Golden Valley development, the National Cyber Innovation Centre will provide a home for the UK's cyber, digital and creative sectors.

The development of a nationally significant cyber business and education centre in Cheltenham is gathering pace this June 2024, with Cheltenham Borough Council having now secured £20 million of provisionally allocated government funding for the project.

The first phase of the council's £1 billion Golden Valley project, the National Cyber Innovation Centre will provide a home for the UK's cyber, digital and creative sectors, bringing cyber businesses, education and communities together in one place.

Funding to build the centre was agreed by the council — which has so far contributed £130 million to the Golden Valley project — in September 2023, with an additional £20 million to 'super charge' the development having been provisionally allocated to the project by the UK government in November 2023.

With the council having signed a Memorandum of Understanding with the Department for Levelling Up, Housing and Communities to secure the £20 million this month, plans for the first phase — the planning and construction of the centre — can now progress.

Comprising high quality office space for cyber businesses of all sizes, flexible event spaces and food and beverage facilities, the innovation centre will be accessible to schools, universities and the local community with a view to inspiring young people to pursue careers in cyber, as well as providing job opportunities in the sector for local residents.

Gareth Edmundson, chief executive at Cheltenham Borough Council said: 'Making progress to secure this funding is excellent news.

'The Golden Valley development is moving forward at pace and the £20 million Levelling Up funding helps build on the significant investment already made by the council to deliver this pioneering project to transform west Cheltenham into an internationally recognised tech and security community, with the National Cyber Innovation Centre at its heart.'

Matt Bellshaw, director and head of region at HBD, the council's developer partner on the project, added: 'Securing this funding is a significant milestone for Golden Valley.

'This investment will help us achieve our aim of creating a vibrant and innovative community.

'We are seeing strong interest across the board in Golden Valley from occupier businesses, including start-ups and large enterprises, as well as academia.

'We look forward to working closely with all stakeholders to bring this transformative project to life.'

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