A partnership between Gloucestershire College and cyber business catalyst Hub8 is promising to deliver a new £1 million innovation centre to drive economic growth and close the skills gap.
Expected to create 20 new jobs a year and support up to 50 start-up businesses over a five-year period, the innovation centre will be at the college’s Cheltenham campus next door to GCHQ.
It is a move which underlines just how the dots are joining up in the county between education, business and the cyber sector as Gloucestershire continues to position itself as the UK’s cyber capital.
Bruce Gregory, managing director of Hub8, said: ‘Gloucestershire College and Hub8 have been working in collaboration alongside Cheltenham Borough Council and GFirst LEP to develop and grow the regions cyber tech ecosystem in preparation for Golden Valley.
‘Hub8 GC will bring together the best-in-class start-ups, SMEs and global companies in the cyber-tech sector on the one part and academia and government on the other to create the ideal platform for organic growth, collaboration and serendipity to occur in one place.’
Hub8 runs the Cheltenham town centre workspace bringing together the growing number of cyber-related business interests clustering in the county as a result of GCHQ and not least because of the adjacent planned £400 million Golden Valley Development.
The college’s new 10,000 square feet of innovation space will include private offices, hot-desks, meeting rooms and a member’s lounge and will be on the same campus as its £3 million Institute of Technology, due to open this summer.
Gloucestershire businesses including information and communications technology firm Bamboo Technolgy and ERP specialists CloudTamers are already on site.
Andy Bates, vice principal and chief financial officer of the college, said: ‘With industry and academia physically united together under one roof, we anticipate huge benefits for the tech businesses working on campus, our students and apprentices and for the sector as a whole.’
Funding for the innovation centre is part of Gloucestershire’s local enterprise partnership’s successful bid to central government for £11.3 million to help kick-start the economy post-pandemic.
David Owen, chief executive of GFirst LEP, said: ‘The list of projects that we are now able to fund focus heavily on the cyber, digital and agri-tech sectors, sectors that were identified in our local Industrial Strategy as the top growth opportunities in the county.’