Gloucestershire Growth Deal secures a further 15 million pounds

GFirst LEP have secured further funding for Gloucestershire as part of the recent Gloucestershire Growth Deal; an additional £15 million, adding to the £62.5 million confirmed in July 2014, that is being invested into the county.

This announcement has been confirmed today by the Department for Business, Innovation and Skills (BIS), seeing 6 projects in the county receive the extra investment from government. This latest funding will see up to 6000 jobs being created or safeguarded, up to 400 new homes built, as well as the potential to generate up to £220million in public and private investment within Gloucestershire.

Dr Diane Savory OBE DL, Chair of GFirst LEP said:

“I’m absolutely thrilled that the Government has continued to recognise the huge economic potential in Gloucestershire. The latest announcement reflects the Government’s confidence in the strength and ambition of Gloucestershire’s Strategic Economic Plan, to stimulate significant private sector investment and drive business expansion. I am delighted that this confidence has resulted in a substantial increase in the amount of funding Government is investing in Gloucestershire.

Today’s announcement empowers GFirst LEP to work even more closely with the private, public and voluntary sectors, adding exciting new initiatives to those that are already underway. This targeted investment will be transformative, unlocking development land which will deliver much needed housing and jobs, supporting innovation in agri-tech and renewable energies, as well as developing skills in retail and cyber security.”

Key features of the expanded deal include:

  • Promoting the growth of Gloucestershire Airport by improving key infrastructure at the site. Allocated £550,000.
  • Investment in the regeneration of the Blackfriars and Quayside areas in Gloucester City Centre for domestic and commercial use.  Allocated £4.13 million.
  • Support for fledgling agri-tech businesses – high tech incubation facilities to support start-ups and promote innovation at the Royal Agricultural University. Allocated £2.92 million.
  • Support for retail entrepreneurship – provision of high street incubation space in Gloucestershire. Allocated £400k.
  • Further additions to the planned Gloucestershire Renewable Energy, Engineering and Nuclear skills centre at Berkeley:
    • A new Cyber Security Training and Conference Centre to build Gloucestershire’s skills base in this fast-growing sector. Allocated £3 million.
    • An Advanced Renewable Energy Resource Centre delivering STEM skills development, experimental research and specialist business and domestic market support in renewables. Allocated £4 million.


Mark Ryan, Managing Director of Gloucestershire Airport, said:

“We are absolutely delighted with the decision to support key infrastructure changes at Gloucestershire Airport that will enable development of aircraft hangars by the private sector. These hangars are identified as being essential to securing step change growth in the business and its impact on the regional economy. The scheme has the potential to deliver £6.3 million of annual GVA impact and support 106 direct, indirect and induced jobs locally.”

David Owen, Chief Executive of GFirst LEP, commented: ‘This is a great outcome for Gloucester, the investment will regenerate the Blackfriars and Quayside area, attracting private investment and delivering an exciting range of homes, jobs and growth. This area is central to the city, close to both the city centre and the Quays, so the impact will be felt throughout Gloucester. It is really positive to see the LEP, County and City Councils working closely together to create a transformative masterplan for the whole area.’

Chris Gaskell, Principal of Royal Agricultural University, said:
“The Royal Agricultural University (RAU) is very pleased to be part of the growth of Gloucestershire through involvement with the LEP. The maintenance and improvement of our outstanding countryside is crucial to the county, and this significant investment in innovation space for rural business and agricultural technology start-ups will help to catalyse such development through the application of science and technology. This welcome support from GFirst LEP will enable the University to accelerate further its research and strategic contribution to the Gloucestershire economy.”

Nigel Jobson, Head of Property at SuperGroup Plc and Chair of GFirst LEP Retail Sector Group, said:
“This is great news for retail in Gloucestershire – an incubation space in a town centre location that can help and support ‘new talent’ by providing them with the necessary skills and industry mentors in a real life setting.  In addition this space will also benefit existing retailers, by providing training opportunities in order for them to upskill.”

Kevin Hamblin, Principal and CEO of South Gloucestershire and Stroud College, said:
“I am excited about the support from the GFirst LEP that continues our investment in the former Berkeley Nuclear Laboratories and our planned development to create the Gloucestershire Science and Technology Park.  In addition to the creation of a skills centre opening in 2016 at the Berkeley site, focussed on engineering, we are also developing the site further to support the growing need for training within digital technologies and cyber security which has been recognised as one of the fastest growing areas of the economy within Gloucestershire.”

Stephen Marston, Vice-Chancellor University of Gloucestershire, said:

“Today’s announcement is fantastic news and allows the University of Gloucestershire to push forward in two key areas. Computing and cyber-security is already an area of strength for the University, in which we are investing heavily at our Park campus in Cheltenham as well as at Berkeley. The Growth Deal funding will enable us to keep investing in new capability, with cutting edge equipment and facilities, expanding the opportunities for training, skills development, enterprise and applied research.

Alongside this is the Advanced Renewable Energy Resource Centre, where funding will enable us to invest in new facilities and equipment, substantially strengthening our teaching, enterprise and research programmes for the benefit of students and businesses. The University of Gloucestershire is proud of the part we play in driving high-skill, knowledge intensive growth and innovation for the benefit of the county.”

Secretary of State for Transport, Patrick McLoughlin is to visit GFirst LEP today, visiting Gloucestershire Airport to see first-hand the site that will benefit from the new funding. As well as the airport, Mr McLoughlin will visit the Blackfriars and Quayside areas in Gloucester, to see where the regeneration projects will take place.

This announcement comes shortly after GFirst LEP were visited by the Deputy Prime Minister Nick Clegg, in January to formally sign the Growth Deal for Gloucestershire; which is already been delivering projects around the county. These include the services of the newly opened Growth Hub being available countywide through Growth Hub spokes, the GREEN project at the former Berkeley power station, further development of the Growth Zone on the M5 corridor, and delivery of some key transport projects across Gloucestershire. 

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