A new innovation hub is one step closer to being delivered by local developer Workshop Group, and supported by Cheltenham Borough Council, Gloucestershire County Council, GFirst LEP, Creative England and Cheltenham Festivals.
The hub will be built next to the Cheltenham Minster, Cheltenham Library and the Wilson on land currently used as Chester Walk car park. The innovative modular construction, including shipping containers, will incorporate next generation technology, flexible and affordable co-working spaces over two floors, a Growth Hub business support centre, state-of-the-art 300-person capacity performance area and education space.
The borough council’s proposed land swap of Chester Walk car park and part of St George’s Road car park has now been agreed by Gloucestershire County Council. The 20,000sq ft urban regeneration scheme is supported by a number of stakeholders including the University of Gloucestershire, Gloucestershire College and Cheltenham Trust.
Cllr Rowena Hay, member for finance at Cheltenham Borough Council, said: “I’ll be delighted to see this innovative project come to fruition, creating a cultural hub in the heart of the town centre. It will greatly enhance the local area and provide much needed opportunities for local start-ups and young creatives to spring-board their entrepreneurship all of which supports the council’s place strategy where culture, creativity and businesses thrive.
‘’Additionally we’ll see St George’s car park benefitting from improvements including remodelling and resurfacing as well as better disabled parking provision.”
Bruce Gregory of Workshop Group, said: “Workshop will deliver a unique innovation space for our current and next generation of start-ups and SMEs in the creative, digital and cyber tech sectors. The purpose built event space at the heart of the project will be run in collaboration with Cheltenham Festivals and provide a year-round programme of events, building upon the town’s vibrant cultural offering.”
Cllr Lynden Stowe, cabinet member for finance and change at Gloucestershire County Council said: “Workshop Cheltenham will significantly benefit Cheltenham’s economy, bringing investment and job opportunities into the town for its growing population.
“I am pleased we can support the borough council with this exciting project and by relocating our frontline staff to St George’s car park, which is next door to our offices, we will be able to improve our response time when vulnerable people are in need.”
The project will be funded from a range of sources including Creative England, the LEP and private financing.