Hub8 cyber centre sells majority stake to 'well connected' London innovation firm

A major city-based innovation company, which helps connect firms to investors, has bought a majority stake in the Gloucestershire cyber workplace Hub8, underlining the county's potential as it reaches for the title of cyber capital of the UK.

By Andrew Merrell  |  Published
Hub8 has become more than just a workplace for the cyber community, with its close connections to the county's cyber, CyNam, it is also the venue for numerous sector events.

One of the most powerful innovation companies in the UK, helping connect firms with major funding opportunities, has bought a majority share in the Cheltenham cyber-focused workplace Hub 8.

It is a move that not only gives the city of London-based firm, Plexal, a majority shareholding in the Gloucestershire business, but the fledgling cyber firms based at the two Hub 8s, access to potentially life-changing connections.

Plexal, founded by investment fund DV4, created the 68,000 square foot London technology and creative businesses campus, Here East, in 2012 and today also delivers projects for key government departments and global tech firms including the National Cyber Security Centre (NCSC), Department for Digital, Culture, Media and Sport, Amazon Web Services and IBM.

The NCSC for startups scheme alone has helped more than 60 companies that have raised more than £430 million and created hundreds of jobs; 72 cyber start-ups have gone through Plexal’s LORCA accelerators, raised more than £300 million, generated more than £68 million in revenue and hired 800-plus people.

Bruce Gregory, managing director and co-founder of Hub 8, will remain at the helm of the Cheltenham operation.

Bruce Gregory, the founder and director of Hub8 which currently supports more than 500 individuals and 80 companies, said the existing management team would remain at the helm: ‘This is all about what we have here in Cheltenham and the capability we have here, on a national and global level.

‘For us to make the most of that, we have to think national and global. We have been very focused on Cheltenham and Gloucestershire and getting that right.

‘Now is the time to see how we can link up those sectors and community to other key areas across the UK which have the same dynamic businesses we have here.

‘This is about Plexal investing in Hub8 and what we have here. We have a key responsibility in that community and as a partner of those we work with, not least Cheltenham Borough Council, with which we are delivering the MX centre and those who are working to bring the Golden Valley Development here.

‘This is about putting in the additional support structure we need for businesses here to be able to grow.’

Hub 8, which has offices in The Brewery Quarter, Cheltenham, and the town's campus of Gloucestershire College.

Andrew Roughan, chief executive officer of Plexal, said the move into Cheltenham was about the business positioning itself at the heart of ‘the UK’s ambition to develop a world-class cyber sector’.

Roughan said: ‘We’re focused on solving society’s challenges through collaboration with government, start-ups and industry to unlock prosperity and reinforce national security.

‘With the southwest region emerging as the preeminent hub for cross-sector collaboration in cyber and national security, it was clear we fit into the heart of that ecosystem and are excited to help drive its future growth and development, as we close the gap between regions.’

Plexal not only provides ‘state-of-the-art workspaces for over 800 innovators’ it delivers bespoke consultancy services and ‘sources the right partners’ from its ‘ecosystem of 15,000 individuals’.

More on Hub8

More from Business