Planning has been submitted for a £1 billion project at the heart of the UK’s technology and cyber ambitions.

Golden Valley is described as a once-in-a-lifetime project at the heart of the UK’s National Cyber Strategy. Once complete, it will be one of Europe’s largest purpose-built tech campuses.

Developer HBD x Factory Ltd will deliver the expansive project alongside Cheltenham Borough Council and key local partners.

The proposed development, covering 47ha, will deliver a diverse innovation district, comprising over 1 million sq. ft. of commercial space. It will attract businesses with a focus on science and technology in particular, building on the existing specialist cluster in cyber and the emerging AI, DeepTech and future computing/quantum sectors. 

New homes will also be an important element of the project, providing over 1,000 low-carbon properties to rent and buy. All this will be situated within an extensive network of green open spaces with community amenities and a new primary school also featuring in the masterplan.

Separate detailed proposals for the National Cyber Innovation Centre will be submitted in the new year following last month’s £95m funding agreement for the delivery of the landmark new building. 

GCHQ’s Paul Killworth, Deputy Chief Scientific Adviser for National Security, said: “GCHQ supports Cheltenham Borough Council’s vision of Golden Valley as a thriving, high-tech cluster of cyber and technology firms working across the new campus. 

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“The opportunity offered by Golden Valley will lead to a sea-change in national-security relations between government, academia and industry. The National Cyber Innovation Centre was described as ‘a true international centre of innovation’ in the National Cyber Strategy, and the development will also be a key part of the transformation of the intelligence community’s Science & Technology effort. 

“GCHQ already plays a prominent role in these sectors both locally and nationally and it looks forward to participating in this exciting development.”

Councillor Mike Collins, cabinet member for cyber, regeneration and commercial income at Cheltenham Borough Council said: ‘’This is a huge step in the delivery of Golden Valley and I am delighted that we have reached a stage that a planning application has been submitted.

“Here in Cheltenham, we will be host to an internationally significant cyber and technology focussed campus which, subject to planning permission, will provide the catalyst for delivering economic growth for the town and regeneration of local communities.”

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