Government minister Julia Lopez MP has visited Gloucestershire College’s Cheltenham campus to hear first-hand the county’s determination to become the cyber business capital of the UK.
The visit was also hosted by the borough council team behind the cyber-centric £400 million Golden Valley Development and included a tour of the college’s onsite Hub8 business workspace and the new £3 million Advanced Digital Academy.
Lopez, who visited on Tuesday 25 January and also met students from the college, said: ‘It’s been great meeting the cyber talent of tomorrow and to see them first-hand gaining valuable security skills.
‘Cheltenham’s Golden Valley Development is at the heart of our country’s cyber sector and is playing a vital role helping us achieve the ambitious plans set out in our National Cyber Strategy.’
The Golden Valley Development is planned for 45 hectares of council-owned land a short distance from the college to the West of GCHQ and is described as ‘a world-class, multi-use development of 3,700 homes and the UK’s first cyber focused campus, Cyber Central’.
The minister was also updated on the progress of the National Cyber Innovation Centre, that will form part of the first phase of the development, and heard from stakeholders including Plexal, AWS, Cheltenham Festivals, UKC3, CyNam, the University of Gloucestershire, University of Bristol, Cheltenham Ladies College, and the town’s MP, Alex Chalk.
Tim Atkins, project lead for the Golden Valley Development, said: ‘We hope the minister was able to get a feel about the drive and energy behind this project and our ability to work with key partners to deliver the National Cyber Innovation Centre as part of our fast-growing cyber eco-system and a key part of the country’s newest powerhouse, the Western Gateway.’
By Andrew Merrell