Cheltenham’s Golden Valley Development to play important role in government’s National Cyber Strategy

Cheltenham Cyber Central

Cheltenham’s Golden Valley Development  has been named in the Cabinet Office’s new National Cyber Strategy, launched last week and said to be worth £2.6bn.

The strategy prioritises investing in the UK’s cyber skills, improving cyber security responses, and disrupting state-backed cyber-attacks.

Golden Valley Development – a pioneering Garden Community integrating hi-tech business, residential and leisure uses, with Cyber Central: the UK home of cyber, digital and creative sectors at its heart – is named in the strategy setting out how the UK will ‘foster the growth of a sustainable, innovative and internationally competitive cyber and information security sector, delivering quality products and services, which meet the needs of government and the wider economy’.

Cllr Andrew McKinlay, cabinet member for cyber and strategic support at Cheltenham Borough Council, said: “This is a really big step forward for us – it is great to see Gloucestershire playing a leading role in the UK mission to be the world’s safest place to live and work online.

“To be home to the new National Cyber Innovation Centre, and to have Golden Valley Development and Cheltenham Borough Council both recognised and ‘supported’ – in a National Strategy –  takes us another step closer to our ambition of being UK’s Cyber Capital.”

Tim Atkins, managing director for place and economic development at Cheltenham Borough Council, added: “We are playing a leading role in the UK’s mission to be a science super power and becoming the world’s safest place to live and do online business. This is also key to the nation’s levelling-up agenda – and we are driving forward cyber and emerging tech innovation, creating a home for great minds, talent and pioneering spirit.”

The strategy goes on to say that Gloucestershire will play an important role in the delivery of the Government’s vision, which states that: ‘We will transform the Cheltenham Innovation Centre, which includes the cyber accelerator ‘NCSC for Startups’, into a true international centre of innovation: the National Cyber Innovation Centre. We will draw on the expertise of organisations that exist to promote and enable co-creation, such as the National Security Technology and Innovation Exchange. And we will encourage higher-risk investment in early stage cyber start-ups, including through the National Security Strategic Investment Fund, in partnership with the British Business Bank.’

The strategy also cites the impact of Golden Valley Development (GVD) and Cheltenham Borough Council (CBC): ‘A UK cyber economy that has been levelled up significantly with increased growth outside of the South East, contributing to recovery from the coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic and supporting wider regional economic activity. We will establish the permanent headquarters of the NCF in Samlesbury, in the North West of England driving growth in the technology, digital and defence sectors outside of London and helping create new partnerships in the region. We will increase our support for innovators and entrepreneurs outside of London and the South East to develop their products and services, grow their businesses and recruit skilled staff.
This includes the Golden Valley campus led by Cheltenham Borough Council dedicated to supporting the growth of cyber-related technology businesses. And we will increase the exporting capabilities of cyber companies across more regions of the UK through engagement with the regional cyber clusters and set piece events to showcase more of our cyber industry talent to international buyers.’

In the foreword, The Rt Hon Steve Barclay MP, Chancellor of the Duchy of Lancaster and Minister for the Cabinet Office, said: “The new National Cyber Strategy is our plan to ensure that the UK remains confident, capable and resilient in this fast-moving digital world; and that we continue to adapt, innovate and invest in order to protect and promote our interests in cyberspace. As lead minister, I am clear about two of its core aims: first that we should strengthen our hand in technologies that are critical to cyber; second, that we should limit our reliance on individual suppliers or technologies which are developed under regimes that do not share our values.

“UK science and technology will be the engine room of this change, ensuring that cyber continues to be a national economic and strategic asset, that our technology is more trustworthy and is better able to ward off a spectrum of cyber adversaries whose capabilities were, until recently, the sole preserve of nation states.”

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