Hub8 joins forces with Gloucestershire College to launch £1 million innovation centre in Cheltenham

Gloucestershire College

Two organisations from Gloucestershire’s cyber-tech ecosystem have formed a new partnership that will further supercharge the growth of the sector.

Hub8, the operators of the pioneering innovation space in Cheltenham town centre, is launching a purpose-built innovation space this September in partnership with Gloucestershire College.

Located at the College’s Cheltenham campus, close  to GCHQ, Hub8 GC will provide more than 10,000 sq ft of innovation space including private offices, dedicated desks, hot-desks, meeting rooms and a member’s lounge.

Bruce Gregory, MD of Hub8, said: “Gloucestershire College and Hub8 have been working in collaboration alongside Cheltenham Borough Council and GFirst LEP to grow the regions cyber tech ecosystem in preparation for Golden Valley. Hub8 GC will bring together best-in-class start-ups, SMEs and global companies in the cyber-tech sector on the one part and academia and government on the other to create the ideal platform for organic growth, collaboration and serendipity to occur in one place.”

The collaboration aims to connect the county’s community of tech giants, SMEs and start-ups with up and coming talent to future proof their companies and build their talent pipeline. Through events, workshops and round tables, it will help to close the skills gap by connecting industry, government and academia.

Andy Bates, Vice Principal and Chief Financial Officer of Gloucestershire College, said: “Opening up our Cheltenham Campus to industry is the next important step we are taking in order to support the region’s growing cyber and technology ecosystem and advance change. With industry and academia physically united together under one roof, we anticipate huge benefits for the tech businesses working on campus, our students and apprentices and for the sector as a whole.”

Funding for this innovation centre comes as a result of the successful bid from Gloucestershire’s Local Enterprise Partnership, GFirst LEP, to secure £11.3 million of funding from central Government to kick-start the economy and help Gloucestershire recover from the Coronavirus pandemic. The College expects the new space to generate 20 new jobs per year and to support up to 50 start-up businesses over a five-year period.

David Owen, Chief Executive of GFirst LEP, said: “The LEP team work hard with partners to ensure our pipeline of creative and innovative infrastructure projects is always up to date. The list of projects that we are now able to fund focus heavily on the cyber, digital and agri-tech sectors, sectors that were identified in our Local Industrial Strategy as the top growth opportunities in the county.”

The new space is located on the same campus at the College’s new £3 million Institute of Technology facilities opening this Summer, with specialist computing labs, state of the art attack and defence rooms, forensic tool kits, eco study pods, a dedicated entrance and an open study and networking area.