New £5.8 million university cyber tech centre welcomed by Gloucestershire business

News that the University of Gloucestershire has won £5.8 million of funding to build a centre for its computing and engineering students has been widely welcomed by the county’s powerful and growing cyber sector.

By Andrew Merrell  |  Published
The university's existing school of computing and engineering, due to be re-imagined with a £5.8 million three-storey rebuild.

Key players in the county’s cyber community have hailed news that the University of Gloucestershire has won £5.8 million to build a new computing and engineering centre as another major boost for the sector.

Ever since news that the government was backing the bid to build a cyber-centric business park, The Golden Valley Development, on land beside GCHQ near Cheltenham there has been story after story about how the county is set to become the UK’s capital for the sector.

And in a year that has seen progress in Gloucester to build The Forum in the city centre, expected to be another home for the in-coming tech businesses, the university is now signing off 2022 with news of its own plans.

Its £5.8 million win from the Office for Students (OfS) will see a specialist three-storey facility built on its Park Campus in Cheltenham for students studying cyber and technical computing, advanced emerging technologies, game technologies, and engineering technologies.

Bruce Gregory, managing director of Cheltenham-headquartered cyber workspace Hub8, said: 'Hub8 is delighted to hear the news that the university has received a multi-million-pound grant to deliver a specialist cyber tech facility.

'Hub8 is looking forward to working with Stephen Marston, Kamal Bechkoum and the UoG team to support this initiative that will build upon Cheltenham’s and the wider region’s position as a global centre for cyber innovation.'

Jeremy Bamberg, co-founder of Factory whose joint venture with HBD will oversee the building of the Golden Valley Development, said: 'Investing in the training and skills development of students is crucial for the success of any cyber and technology ecosystem.

'The University of Gloucestershire’s successful OfS funding award is great news for the region and will offer both new and existing high-growth businesses an attractive and skilled local talent pool to tap into.

'We look forward to working closely with the university to support the next generation of innovators that will be working out of Factory Cheltenham and Golden Valley in the upcoming years.'

Stephen Marston, vice-chancellor of the university, said: ‘We selected cyber, computing and digital as a strategic investment priority because it is so important to have a strong local supply of skilled and qualified graduates to support the ambition to make Gloucestershire a world-class hub for cyber and computing.’

Professor Kamal Bechkoum, head of the university’s school of computing and engineering, said the new facilities would resemble as closely as possible real-life working environments and allow the study of subjects such as healthtech, edutech, legaltech and bio-informatics.

Students benefiting from the state-of-the-art building will include those studying traditional degrees (BSc/MSc), higher apprenticeships, professional short courses, digital skills bootcamps, and new higher technical qualifications.

The university has appointed London-based ASL as architects for the project.

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