The Golden Valley Development announces preferred Development Partner

The Golden Valley Development announces preferred Development Partner 30 Jul 2021

HBD X Factory, a joint venture between UK property developer HBD and the international innovation campus developer Factory, selected to assist in delivering the project's first phase.

Cheltenham Borough Council’s The Golden Valley Development (GVD) has announced that HBD X Factory, a joint venture between UK property developer HBD and the international innovation campus developer Factory, has been selected as its preferred development partner to assist in delivering the £1billion first phase of the project located in Cheltenham at the heart of the UK’s Cyber community. Avison Young has led the developer search.

The overall Golden Valley Development, that will span over 200 hectares, will provide 3,700 new homes, almost 12,000 new jobs and 2 million square feet of commercial space with Cyber Central UK at the heart of this thriving innovative campus for cyber and digital technologies. The delivery of this first phase with the preferred development partner is well timed as the UK’s cyber security sector is worth an estimated £8.3billion as of 2021, having doubled in value in just two years. Gloucestershire has the greatest density of cyber business in the UK outside London, with Cheltenham having more than eleven times the norm, this is ideal location and time for this industry to scale-up – supporting the UK on its mission to be a global leader in this hugely important sector.

Located adjacent to the iconic GCHQ building The Golden Valley Development is highly accessible by train, road and air with fast direct connectivity to Bristol, Birmingham, London and other key parts of the country. The Golden Valley is also within 75 minutes of 20 universities, making it a hot spot for attracting talent to the high value and fast growing sector. There are also real prospects and opportunities for local residents and communities for future generations as well as wider green economic growth.

Welcoming the development, Minister for Digital Infrastructure Matt Warman said:
“Cheltenham is an engine of growth for the UK's cyber security sector and the Golden Valley development will play a major role cementing the country's place as a global leader in the field. We are investing to help cyber security businesses across the country tackle barriers to growth and boost people's digital skills so we can usher in a golden age in UK tech.”

Avison Young Principal Gordon Isgrove commented:
“Cheltenham Borough Council has done an exceptional job in positioning this project, which has led to interest being raised nationally and internationally. We have run a tight programme to select a development partner and have been so impressed with the quality and calibre of all the bidders in responding to this exciting opportunity. HBD X Factory has demonstrated through the competition a real understanding of the vision, whilst clearly having the capabilities to deliver it. I am of the firm belief this will be one of the most exciting developments we see coming forward in the UK.”

Commenting on the announcement, Councillor Rowena Hay, Leader of Cheltenham Borough Council, said:
“I am so proud that Cheltenham is on the fast-track to become an international destination for the growing cyber security sector whilst maintaining the ethos and character of the town and region.

“After a thorough, detailed procurement and evaluation process, and having demonstrated they have the experience and ability to deliver the Council’s objectives and aspirations, HBD X Factory was selected as the preferred partner. In partnership, HBD and Factory will act as a master developer, provide for a driving role to masterplan and secure planning permission and deliver infrastructure across the site. In addition, they will deliver commercial space and the innovation centre for the Golden Valley Development, to high standards of design and sustainability.”

Construction for the Golden Valley Development will employ new, innovative methods to deliver above current building requirements with reduced energy and carbon impact for both the residential and commercial buildings. In addition, the infrastructure will consider smart technology solutions advancing the development in terms of mobility, biodiversity and resilience. Further detail on how sustainability and new technology will be incorporated into the scheme will be created alongside the development proposals and planning application, with the aspiration of net zero carbon target.

The Golden Valley Development is planning to reach a contract close with the preferred developer in Q1 2022, with a planning application to follow later in 2022, leading to the start of construction and completion of the first phases.

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