As it approaches 10 years as an economic catalyst for Gloucestershire, which has seen it attract in more than £100 million of investment and enable numerous projects, GFirst LEP has decided to celebrate.
A new video by the local enterprise partnership pays tribute to the incredible efforts in the county through the pandemic. And it underlines the power of the partnerships the LEP has helped forge, highlighting too a handful of the major ongoing projects in what could be a most significant year in its own future.
Significant because it awaits the findings of a government review into the future of all LEPs, with ‘all options’ said to be on the table.
In the meantime, with the help of its video featuring the partners leading some of those ongoing projects, GFirst LEP continues to spread the positivity and remind everyone Gloucestershire is a county on the move.
David Owen, chief executive of GFirst LEP, said: ‘In last 18 months the LEP has started five new projects from the Getting Building Fund.
‘But the West Transport Infrastructure Scheme, at £22 million-plus, is the biggest project yet.’
Rowena Hay, leader of Cheltenham Borough Council, said: ‘The West Cheltenham Transport Plan represents £23.6 m of Growth Deal funding.
‘What that will deliver is better park and ride, better cycling and walking infrastructure and make better access for Junction 11 (of the M5) happen, which is really important in terms of the Golden Valley Development.’
It is a development, she reminds us, which is expected to deliver 3,000 new homes, 12,000 jobs and create an innovation centre and business park establishing Gloucestershire as the UK’s cyber capital – giving Gloucestershire international recognition and be ‘a huge growth enabler’ for the whole county.
Investment from the LEP is being spread countywide, with the video also underlining the new Digital Skills Centre at Cirencester College, the new Advanced Digital Skills Academy and Hub8 co-working space at Gloucestershire College and the construction skills centre, AccXel, in the Forest of Dean.
By Andrew Merrell