Gloucestershire wins Government backing for exciting new cyber status

GFirst LEP and Department for International Trade (DIT) launch new Gloucestershire Cyber High Potential Opportunity (HPO) bringing jobs and opportunities to the county.

GFirst LEP and Department for International Trade (DIT) launch new Gloucestershire Cyber High Potential Opportunity (HPO) bringing jobs and opportunities to the county. 

Gloucestershire has been chosen by the Department for International Trade to be showcased as a world-leading cyber cluster through the High Potential Opportunities (HPO) programme. 

The programme aims to help accelerate the growth of business and industry, boost local job creation and prosperity, and strengthen the UK’s sectorial advantage.

The pivotal publication of this HPO will catapult Gloucestershire as a global destination for cyber business. Gloucestershire’s strengths in cyber activity will be promoted to targeted DIT teams located in British Embassies and consulates across the world. They will highlight the compelling reasons why overseas cyber firms should choose Gloucestershire as they expand their international activities. This will help build the already well-established cyber security cluster in Gloucestershire 

The work of the team in Gloucestershire and its partners overseas will showcase the opportunities for businesses to design, develop and commercialise cyber technologies for a variety of applications in this unique cluster. 

Home to GCHQ and the National Cyber Security Centre (NCSC), Gloucestershire has the largest cluster of businesses outside of London. With a rising number of cyber-attacks and the increasing vulnerabilities with the growing adoption of the Internet of Things, the UK’s cyber security industry is accelerating and growing rapidly.  

Total annual revenue within the UK’s cyber security industry is worth an estimated £10.1bn, up 14% on the previous year, supporting 52,700 employees. In Gloucestershire there are over 1,000 cyber security professionals and more than 120 firms involved in cyber related activities, helping to boost the local economy.  

Minister for Investment Lord Grimstone said:

“It is excellent news that Gloucestershire will be able to make further strides in attracting foreign investment, creating jobs and opportunities across the county.

“As a world leader in cyber security, our National Cyber Strategy commits £2.6 billion of new investment to help build the UK’s reputation as a responsible and democratic cyber power.

“The UK is the best investment destination in the world. Our Investment Atlas, highlighting strategic high priority investment opportunities across the UK, makes it easier for businesses to make decisions on where and what to invest in, growing the economy and spreading prosperity.”

Tim Kay, Technology Sector Director, DIT said: 

“The Gloucestershire cluster supports companies developing cyber solutions for a broad range of sectors including healthcare, agriculture, financial services, mobility, infrastructure and energy, and represents a great starting point for overseas companies to grow their businesses in the UK.” 

With over 60 years of cyber innovation, Gloucestershire offers a unique location for cyber investment in the UK where businesses can tap into a specialised ecosystem; be part of an established thriving cluster; capitalise on a wide choice of incubation and soft-landing platforms and directly access a core of highly skilled cyber security students and professionals. 

Gloucestershire’s pivotal location sits at the heart of the UK’s cyber security research & development activity. The region’s proximity to Academic Centres of Excellence in Cyber Research (ACE-CSR), recognised by the NCSC and Engineering & Physical Sciences Research Council enables businesses to capitalise on the research and skills available to support growth and success.  

At a more local level, the county has 15 of the 49 nationals ‘Cyber First’ schools; an initiative to facilitate talent into the cyber sector. Cynam, the county’s regional Cyber Cluster, is driving the growth of the ecosystem through providing a platform for innovation, collaboration and knowledge exchange. 

Reid Derby, Director of Strategy at CyNam and Strategic Advisor on Innovation at Golden Valley Development said:

“It has been a privilege to work with a wide variety of leaders in the region to create the Cyber HPO for Gloucestershire and to be able for the first time to uncover and showcase all the amazing assets that we have in our region that have up to now been hidden from a wider audience.

“From our research it is clear that there are so many opportunities to grow cyber businesses in Gloucestershire and for companies moving into the region to become part of the amazing community we have here. Gloucestershire is definitely open for business and keen to work with all to make the UK the safest place to live and work online.”

There is also a rich asset base available; from incubator space available now, such as Hub 8, to larger scale developments which are being moved forward, including the Golden Valley Cyber Campus. This is a £1bn project that will create the UK’s only cyber-focused campus, including the National Cyber Innovation Centre. It will accommodate 2 million sq. ft (186,000 sq. m) of office space, 3,700 homes and leisure facilities. 

David Owen, CEO of GFirst LEP, said: 

“We highlighted the strength and importance of the Gloucestershire Cyber Sector in our Local Industrial Strategy back in 2019 and stressed how it will play a pivotal part in growth potential for the county’s future.

"Gloucestershire is well placed to embrace this booming sector capitalising on our established eco-system and already robust business network. The Cyber HPO created by the Department for International Trade will be invaluable in raising our profile globally and integral in attracting new international businesses into the county.” 

New and established businesses also have access to an impressive business support network including one of the UK’s leading Growth Hub networks and the GFirst LEP Invest in Gloucestershire initiative, in addition to a UK-wide support network to ensure a seamless process for investors.  

The HPO digital summary is now available via DIT’s Investment Atlas and can be found here.

The Invest in Gloucestershire project provides a wide range of soft-landing support to companies looking to establish new ventures in the county.  For more information on the cyber HPO, investor opportunities and inward investment support please contact Phil Clement, Head of Inward Investment at GFirst LEP via

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