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Gloucestershire Business News

Hub8 and Gloucestershire College to launch £1m innovation centre in Cheltenham

Two organisations at the forefront of Gloucestershire's cyber-tech ecosystem have formed a unique partnership to further supercharge growth of the sector.

Hub8, operator of the pioneering innovation space in Cheltenham town centre, is launching a brand new, purpose-built innovation space this September, in partnership with Gloucestershire College, the region's leading academic centre for cyber and IT.

Located at the college's Cheltenham campus, right next door to GCHQ, Hub8 GC will provide over 10,000sqft of innovation space including private offices, dedicated desks, hot desks, meeting rooms and a members' lounge.

Bruce Gregory, MD of Hub8, said: "Gloucestershire College and Hub8 have been working in collaboration alongside Cheltenham Borough Council and GFirst LEP to develop and grow the region's 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 futureproof 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 government funding to kickstart 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 works 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 focuses heavily on the cyber, digital and agri-tech sectors, which 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 brand new £3m 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.

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