The Minster Exchange to open in Spring 2023
Known as the MX, the venue is the catalyst for regenerating the area around St Mary’s Minster, providing much needed workspace for the region’s flourishing cyber tech, digital and creative sectors, including a permanent home for Cheltenham Festivals, a dedicated performance space and the new home of The Growth Hub, Cheltenham.
1 November 2022
The revising of the opening date comes as the project, like many others in the construction sector, deals with the knock-on effects of Covid-19, including problems in the global supply chain, material inflation and workforce supply.
“The pushing back of the opening of Minster Exchange is both disappointing and frustrating given its importance in positioning Cheltenham as the epicentre of the UK’s cyber and technology sector alongside initiatives like the Golden Valley Development,” said Bruce Gregory, Director of Workshop Cheltenham, who are the lead developers of the project.
“And while the Workshop Cheltenham project team have worked constantly to try and mitigate any impact on the project, we are sorry to say that the timeline has had to be revised slightly to ensure we don’t compromise the standards we have set for this development.”
While the majority of the MX building takes the form of a modular construction, the purpose-built performance space is constructed entirely out of timber and the project is a unique example of how Cheltenham is embracing forward thinking building techniques.
“Over the last few months, we have been working closely with our contractors to plan the final stages of the project and ensure that the revised deadline will be met. Our key stakeholders such as Cheltenham Borough Council and GFirst LEP have been kept updated as we move towards putting the final touches to the building and proudly opening its doors to the residents of Cheltenham,” said Bruce.
Once completed, the MX will form part of a wider network of digital tech venues in and around Cheltenham, including Hub8 in the town’s Brewery Quarter and a second Hub8 based at Gloucestershire College’s Cheltenham Campus.
“We have already seen first-hand the impact that infrastructure such as the MX can have in Cheltenham and the wider region. Already, there are over 70 companies and 500 individuals registered across the two Hub8 facilities, delivering world-class innovation and coworking spaces, despite the facilities only having been opened in the last couple of years.
“This in turn has created over 30 cyber-focused apprentice opportunities for local young people, and organisations looking at Gloucestershire as a place to set up their businesses are citing these venues and their communities as a motivating factor.
“We are committed to delivering the vision of Minster Exchange that has been promised to the businesses and people of Cheltenham, and I look forward to seeing its impact over the next few years,” Bruce concluded.