The UK Cyber Business Park – Cyber Central is a joint public and private sector initiative aimed at creating the UK’s first dedicated hub, in Cheltenham, to support the growth and development of new cyber security businesses, technology, research and skills.
18 September 2019
In February 2017, Government announced a Growth Deal 3 allocation of £22m for the “Cheltenham Cyber Business Park infrastructure and site preparation” which was awarded through a competitive bidding process. This brought the total Growth Deal allocation for Gloucestershire to £101.7 million.
The purpose of the bid was to enable the opening up of a strategic employment land allocation by bringing forward highway infrastructure improvements, enabling capacity on the network to accelerate an early phased release of the employment site. The strategic allocation includes 45 hectares of much needed employment land, focussed on cyber-tech with a target of generating new high skilled/high GVA generating jobs, together with facilitating the delivery of the GCHQ Cyber Innovation Centre. Together with around 1,100 new homes, the strategic allocation will bring forward a sustainable mixed-use urban extension to Cheltenham.
As very recently announced, Cheltenham Borough Council have agreed a £37.5million deal to acquire this 45 hectares of development land to the west of the town - the biggest single purchase ever made by Cheltenham Borough Council.
The land has been earmarked to become part of the Cyber Central development that will see a "world-leading business hub for cyber technology" created in Gloucestershire. The scheme is part of a larger 132-hectare proposal that would see a huge swathe of land to the west of Cheltenham become a "pioneering Garden Village community."
The Cyber Central scheme is being developed in partnership with Tewkesbury Borough Council, Gloucestershire County Council and GFirst LEP.
The centres will provide a base for innovators and cyber start-ups to develop products concepts and ideas in a barrier-free environment of collaboration between industry, academia and government.
The infrastructure phases below show how the £22m will be invested in emerging transport improvement packages.
- Arle Court Roundabout remodelling and capacity improvements
- B4063 bus priority to Arle Court
- Hatherley Lane widening to Arle Court
- A40 Park and Ride Access/Egress westbound from Arle Court Roundabout
- Badgeworth Road Bridge Extension
- M5 J11 – Arle Court carriageway extension Northern Verge
- Capacity improvements to the J11 Southbound Slip – design and scope to be confirmed following agreement with HE
- Arle Court Telstar Way east bound carriageway capacity improvements
- Telstar Way to Benhall Roundabout eastbound carriageway capacity improvements
- Telstar Way widening
- Cycle and pedestrian infrastructure improvements from Arle Court to Rail Station
- Benhall Roundabout remodelling including eastbound widening
Speaking about the project at the GFirst Annual Review event held on 19th September 2019, GFirst LEP CEO, David Owen said:
“Cheltenham is internationally recognised as the ‘cradle of cyber innovation for the UK’. Our investment of £22million is the largest of all our project investments and will fund the necessary road infrastructure to deliver this ambitious project. The cyber-tech sector is almost certainly the one with the most potential for our county and features prominently in our Local Industrial Strategy.”
Minister of State for Local Growth, the Rt Hon Jake Berry MP, said:
“We are committed to boosting economic growth across the whole of the UK and ensuring every community has the support it needs to flourish as we prepare to leave the European Union on 31st October.
“This critical road infrastructure project, supported by £22 million investment from the Government’s Local Growth Fund, will help facilitate development of the new Cyber Central park in Cheltenham, bringing high-skilled jobs and housing to the area.”