Gloucestershire businesses should gear up to take advantage of the £615 million Cyber Central, the proposed new Cheltenham business park, according to business advisor Chris Mould, Audit and Advisory Partner in the Cheltenham office of national audit, tax, advisory and risk firm Crowe.
The 326 acre site is next to GCHQ on the western side of Cheltenham and is intended to put the town at the forefront of national cyber security.
Chris Mould said: “As well as creating highly skilled jobs in its own right, Cyber Central will create an estimated 7,000 jobs in total and provide 1,200 new homes.
“The implications of such a major infrastructure programme are such that there will be few Gloucestershire businesses that won’t be affected in one way or another.
“For many this will be a positive business opportunity and they need to be ahead of the game to ensure they don’t lose out.”
County business leaders will be given an update on the project at the GFirst LEP Annual Review on Thursday 17 September at The School of Business & Technology at the University of Gloucestershire when Gloucestershire’s Local Enterprise Partnership (GFirst LEP) unveils its Local Industrial Strategy.
GFirst LEP’s Local Industrial Strategy is intended to set the direction for the future of Gloucestershire’s economy. It will help to inform local choices, prioritise local action and promote local opportunities.
Mould said: “In the way that Coventry is becoming the UK centre for advanced battery technology and Manchester for graphene research and development, this is Cheltenham’s chance to establish itself as a national centre of excellence for cyber security.
“Astute business owners will recognise the opportunities that this will bring and will be laying their plans already.”
Currently designated greenfield space, the site has been earmarked by Cheltenham and Tewkesbury borough councils and Gloucester City Council to supply new homes and jobs for the future.
The project will have major infrastructure and transport implications that Mould believes will create business and employment across the county.
“Not only that, by the very nature of Cyber Central, it will create major interaction with schools and universities.
“Cyber Park will be a once in a generation opportunity for the county and will bring major economic benefits.”