Additional Priorities

Cyber Security Centre

New Cyber Security facilities at Cheltenham and Berkeley Green will be used to deliver STEM skills development from Level 3 to Level 8 as well as support business development and training in Gloucestershire. The project will complement existing businesses as well as support new start-ups. It will be connected into existing activity in the region and be part of making Gloucestershire a regional force in cyber security training, employment and expertise.

Growth Deal Funding: £3 million

Progress: The Waterworth Building, Cheltenham refurbished Summer 2015 and students are now enrolled on cyber-related programmes. The development at Berkeley will open in June 2017.  

Digital High Street Hub

The Digital High Street Hub will accelerate the evolution of the high street and empower places to drive economic growth nationally. It will help places meet their full potential by driving innovation and facilitating the creation of new solutions that connect consumers and businesses.

It will see the establishment of a physical not for profit Digital High Street Hub which will serve high streets nationally. GFirst LEP managed and located in Gloucestershire, the Digital Hub will connect businesses, consumers and digital entrepreneurs and provide a ‘one stop shop’ for developing and testing anything with a high street digital application.  The activities of the Hub will be overseen by a national board representing retailers, technology developers and LEPs.

Growth Deal Funding: £400,000

Progress: Due to open in 2018


Farm491 is a modern, cutting-edge enterprise hub located at the Royal Agricultural University. Developed as a co-working environment for innovators to grow their businesses by applying technology to agriculture, the Farm491 hub will be providing high-spec facilities to foster entrepreneurship, ideas and collaboration. 

Growth Deal Funding: £2.92 million

Progress: The Harnhill farm development will open in 2017 followed by the technological centre at the university in 2018.


New centres will align Science, Technology, Engineering and Maths (STEM) education capability with sector industrial growth and demand by providing facilities and resources to make learning relevant to the workplace. They will also help to create clear progression routes into industry by enabling employers to forge partnerships with colleges.

Growth Deal Funding: £2.1 million

Progress: STEM centres at five locations across the county are now open with students using the innovative facilities available

Cirencester College

The STEM centre with 1582sqm was jointly funded by GFirst LEP and the Education Funding Agency. This will enable the college to meet the needs of local employers who want to recruit people with STEM qualifications and also the rising demand from young people to study these subjects. The centre includes state-of-the-art teaching labs to support the expanded bio-medical-health provision and high spec computers to support 3D modelling and data handling.

Gloucestershire College (Cheltenham, Gloucester & Forest of Dean)

The project created two new construction centres, one in Cheltenham and the other in the Forest of Dean. In addition, the Engineering facilities and self-directed study areas at the Gloucester campus were enhanced to improve facilities and attract more students into the STEM subjects.

Hartpury College

The project is a £700,000 investment for the upgrade of animal/veterinary science labs and the creation of 200 new workspaces in order to support and enhance on-going provision of STEM designated courses at Hartpury. The project also facilitated the consolidation of student services into a single location on site.