Golden Valley is a once-in-a-lifetime project at the heart of the UK’s National Cyber Strategy, somewhere which will become an extraordinary hive of activity, fostering collaboration between local start-ups, UK scale-ups and global tech giants.
When complete, it will be more than ten times the size of Europe’s largest tech campus and will play a crucial role in achieving the UK’s ambition to be a Science and Tech Superpower by 2030.
HBD is bringing this vison to life, key local and national partners to create a unique place for Cheltenham’s growing and internationally recognised cyber, digital and creative sectors. At its heart is the 160,000 sq ft National Cyber Innovation Centre – a building designed to the highest environmental and sustainable credentials.
And it will all be set within green and attractive public space, with 1,000 low carbon new homes, and 1 million sq ft of new commercial space with a focus on science and technology – building on the existing specialist cluster in cyber and the emerging AI, Deep Tech and Future Computing/Quantum sectors. There will also be community uses including shops, leisure facilities – and a new school.
A commitment to the future
Golden Valley will deliver the highest standards of environmental sustainability, design and placemaking. There will be a variety of green spaces, to complement the existing landscape and ecological character of the place, providing space for sport, recreation, walking and cycling.
There will be mobility hubs and smart technologies to reduce the reliance on cars and encourage sustainable travel.
The development will be well connected to the surrounding area and Cheltenham town through cycle routes, enhanced public transport and walkways, these will tie the new neighbourhoods with the existing network reducing the need for private vehicles for short and medium journeys.
The masterplan will assess the whole life carbon of the scheme and identify strategies to reduce carbon emissions. There will be site-wide water management systems and all heating systems will be powered by electricity.
The journey so far…
It was back in 2017 that Cheltenham Borough Council first acquired the site, which was allocated for commercial-led development under the local joint core strategy (JCS). Their acquisition of the site was to ensure that any future development coming forward would foster innovation and complement what was already happening in Cheltenham with GC:HQ.
Plans moved forward and in 2020, Golden Valley’s Supplementary Planning Document was awarded Building with Nature’s (BwN) Policy Award – certifying that the project meets BwN’s standards and that it will deliver a high-quality green infrastructure. BwN accreditation is being targeted to ensure the masterplan promotes the highest level of consideration for the existing landscape and ecology.
Fast forward to today and HBD, with its proven track record of delivering large-scale regeneration projects across the UK, is leading on the delivery of the first phase here.
Since their appointment, HBD colleagues have been showcasing the development on the world stage, promoting Golden Valley’s credentials as the home for the UK’s cyber-security.
In autumn 2023, HBD X Factory submitted a planning application for the scheme, with separate detailed proposals for the National Cyber Innovation Centre to be submitted in 2024 following a £95m funding agreement for the delivery of the landmark new building.
An exceptional scheme
There is much excitement around this exceptional development; its location in Cheltenham and the area’s global reputation for cyber security meant a unique vision was needed to enhance the local offer. Gloucestershire is at the epicentre of cyber security and the economic output for the region with HBD’s plans resulting in a bespoke campus for innovation – somewhere home to businesses that will deliver new discoveries, strengthen UK security, create jobs and drive inward investment.
Opportunities at Golden Valley are available first and foremost for homegrown businesses, helping relocate local companies so they too can benefit from the environment of collaboration and inspiration.