Construction and Infrastructure

Approval for £5.2 million innovation centre and Growth Hub

Written by: Andrew Merrell | Posted 25 August 2020 10:15

Approval for £5.2 million innovation centre and Growth Hub

The GFirst LEP-backed £5.2 million innovation hub for Cheltenham town centre has been given the go ahead by planners, part of five projects expected to create nearly 1,000 jobs.

When complete the new 20,000 square foot multi-purpose building will provide new headquarters for Cheltenham Festivals, a café, community spaces and much more.

The £5.2m total investment includes £3.114m funding won from the Government by local enterprise partnership GFirst LEP as part of its Getting Building Fund.

And it will see the town to at last able to accommodate the missing link in the network of business support service centres countywide that is The Growth Hub, giving it a permenant base in the town centre. 

To be built on the site of the Chester Walk car park the Workshop Cheltenham-led scheme in the shadow of St Mary's Church (Cheltenham Minister) is part of what is being called the wider Minster Innovation Exhange project.

There will also be training and meeting rooms with office space for businesses.

It is one of a handful of Gloucestershire projects which will share £11.3m won by by local enterprise partnership GFirst LEP with a further £4.87m being invested, all of which is expected to create almost 960 jobs and safeguard another 82. 

The other four include the Cyber Incubation Units at Gloucestershire College (£950,000), Digital Innovation Farm at Hartpury University (£1.25m), Gloucestershire Applied Digital Skills Centre at Cirencester College (£4.48m) and the Construction Education Centre in Cinderford (£1.96m), in partnership with construction firm KW Bell Group.

Cheltenham Borough Council planners approved the scheme subject to conditions.