Cheltenham Council launches search for partner to deliver major cyber development

Cheltenham Cyber Central

The search is underway for a development and investment partner to deliver a £400 million project to build the UK’s cyber capital in Cheltenham.

The site, which is next to GCHQ, will see up to 200-hectares of land transformed into a world-class, multi-purpose development with the UK’s first cyber focused campus, Cyber Central, at its heart.

A Cyber Innovation Centre, will bringing together GCHQ’s innovation programmes, academia, business and event space; offering up to two million square feet of commercial floor space for the cyber sector.

The site will sit within the wider Golden Valley Development, granted Garden Community status by Homes England last year. This development will see more than 3,000 homes create a community supported by shops, cafes, restaurants and leisure facilities. It will significantly enhance Cheltenham’s appeal as a destination for living and working in addition to being recently recognised as the best place to live in the South West by The Sunday Times.

Cheltenham Borough Council purchased 45 hectares of land for £37.5 million last August – the biggest single purchase ever made by the council. It is making available a further £180 million funding available for the delivery of homes.

The UK cyber security sector is currently valued at £8.3 billion, having doubled in two years and growth is expected to continue at a similar pace.

Cllr Andrew McKinlay, cabinet member for development and safety at Cheltenham Borough Council, said: “The Golden Valley Development is a prime example of how Cheltenham Borough Council continues to demonstrate its bold vision and the kind of strong local leadership that will help to drive economic recovery, post Covid-19. Our investment has been the catalyst for this development, which is recognised as one of the most exciting and innovative projects anywhere in the country. As we look to the future, cyber security and sustainable living will become ever more important – and the Golden Valley Development will lead the way on this.”

Tim Atkins, Managing Director for Place & Growth at Cheltenham Borough Council, said: “At a time of unprecedented change, the Golden Valley Development is an opportunity to put Cheltenham on a global stage and at the forefront of one of the most dynamic and exciting sectors. That’s precisely why Cheltenham Borough Council has stepped up to play a leading role in the development, working alongside multiple stakeholders across the public and private sector to drive sustainable economic recovery and growth.”

Avison Young has been appointed to lead the search for a partner on this ambitious and exciting development, which is supported by the Department of International Trade as a project of international significance.

In the first stage, interested parties are invited to complete and return a Selection Questionnaire by 10 July 2020; this is available from Avison Young. The partner is expected to be appointed in Spring 2021.