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Place – our core propositions

Gloucestershire will…

  • Be a vibrant, successful county where communities and businesses flourish by taking advantage of Gloucestershire’s location, characteristics, and its economic strengths.
  • Be an area that attracts high-value investment from the UK and abroad, through a coordinated effort from local partners such as the Western Gateway.
  • Be the future of communications with a globally competitive cyber and digital technology cluster at the forefront of all industries.
  • Be renowned for developing industry changing technology in agri-tech, sustainable aviation and advanced manufacturing.
  • Have businesses and residents with no barriers to robust digital infrastructure.
  • Sustain and maintain our outstanding landscapes and become a leader in biodiversity recovery and conservation.

The sustainable growth and prosperity of Gloucestershire’s communities requires long-term investment, which is coordinated, stable and adaptable to local needs.

It is important, therefore, to take a strategic approach to planning new residential and employment growth, focused in areas most sustainable in terms of strategic environmental, social, and economic considerations. Societal changes are accelerating the need for new infrastructure, from the opportunities afforded by a transition to a greener Gloucestershire, to meeting the needs of the growing number of older people, to a greater reliance on digital technologies. Physical and digital connectivity will be an essential component of this. Growing the county on a sustainable basis will require increased local and regional collaboration to take pro-active decisions that will create the conditions for sustainable economic growth and ensure that our communities continue to flourish.

Digital connectivity is a key component of this. Overcoming the challenges of digital connectivity gaps across Gloucestershire is essential if we are to ensure that both urban and rural communities benefit from the future job opportunities created as the economy decarbonises. This will mean the development and deployment of innovative digital and data led service solutions become even more prevalent. This starts by providing continued support for the delivery of both gigabit-capable digital networks and widespread 5G to private providers to achieve seamless connectivity between fixed and mobile access. Deploying these new networks requires significant investment.

Both private and public sector investment will continue to play a role in building faster digital networks, but unlike through the Fastershire project the county council will no longer have a delivery role in this process with national Government leading the delivery of the next generation of broadband connectivity through Project Gigabit. Broadband is a key enabling technology for a range of different activities that can have a positive environmental and social impact. Improved broadband speeds and reliability reaching over 97% superfast, 68% gigabit and 45% full fibre coverage to date, has enabled more sustainable business practices that have resulted in waste minimisation, travel reduction, reduced energy use and businesses implementing a range of more efficient processes. There are demonstrated productivity improvements to businesses that adopt digital technologies. SMEs which use two or more business management technologies exhibit productivity gains of up to 25%.

Our existing and emerging sectors will benefit from digital investment. As the economy becomes ever more interconnected, the needs and demand for the cyber sector is set to grow. The application of digital technology processes within industries such as agriculture and manufacturing can bring forward greater levels of GVA to the county, while AI can offer benefits to the health and social care sector in early detection and diagnosis.

By delivering this through the actions identified in the strategy, we will attract more investment. Inward investment, or the investment from external companies, individuals, and the government into a particular area, is a key component for prosperity and growth in an open economy. Gloucestershire has been successful in attracting this type of inflow, with businesses from outside the county investing millions of pounds in world class facilities, innovative businesses, and local skills development. The “Invest in Gloucestershire” project, for example, has yielded a return of £11 million from a £1 million investment. Gloucestershire has a diverse economy with a range of key industries and sectors, as well important clusters in specialised high value activities, making it an ideal location for attracting sustained inward investment.

The presence of GCHQ and the National Cyber Security Centre Cyber Accelerator, act as significant magnets for both talent and firms to locate. It is a highly productive sector and Cheltenham is one the largest and most developed cyber clusters in Europe. To ensure the sector continues to thrive it is essential to enable it to grow through the delivery of the Golden Valley Development and ongoing partnership working across the Western Gateway area. This will facilitate growth and secure Gloucestershire’s position as a home for an internationally important cyber cluster.

Core propositions

Place themes

2050 aim

Proposed action

Gloucestershire Spatial Development Strategy: greater clarity for local communities, developers, and decision makers on the long-term land-use planning strategy to meet the full range of housing and employment needs, supported by strategic and community infrastructure delivered in the right places at the right time. 

We will have a vibrant, successful county where communities and businesses flourish by taking advantage of Gloucestershire’s location, characteristics, and its economic strengths.

  • Work across six Local Planning Authorities (LPAs) to agree a shared vision for the county which provides the basis of a new long-term Gloucestershire Growth Plan and Spatial Development Strategy.
  • Build on the Gloucestershire Statement of Common Ground, while making best use of existing statutory and non-statutory partnerships and joint working arrangements.

Future of inward investment: to consolidate a world-class inward investment offer that continues to successfully promote investment from outside the county as a driver for growth.

Gloucestershire will be an area that attracts high-value investment from the UK and abroad, through a coordinated effort from local partners such as Western Gateway.

  • Leverage the county’s strategic location, world-class infrastructure, skilled workforce and sector specialisms to attract businesses to the area.
  • Provide and clearly signpost support and guidance on decarbonisation and funding sources, offering personalised and bespoke support that caters to businesses’ unique needs where possible.

Infrastructure funding: a fundamental aspect of achieving sustainable development is providing infrastructure in the right place and at the right time.



  • The county’s infrastructure needs will be fully identified to ensure they are financially viable and deliverable within the timeframe they are required. This will be captured within one fully costed county-wide Infrastructure Delivery Strategy agreed by county council and the six LPAs.
  • The city and town centres across the county will be regenerated and repurposed to be fit for 2050 to provide vibrant hubs for culture and employment across Gloucestershire.
  • GCC to undertake a countywide Infrastructure Needs Assessment to inform a future Infrastructure Delivery Strategy, working with the six LPAs, to include a reviewed developer contribution system to support strategic infrastructure delivery.
  • Work with colleagues from the six LPAs to agree a set of Planning Application Protocols covering all tiers of local government to ensure consistency and transparency within the planning system.
  • Support the delivery of strategically essential upgrades to the transport network including upgrades to M5 J10 and M5 J9 and the realignment of the A46 and completion of the A417 Missing Link, while continuing to deliver local improvements to the walking, cycling and passenger transport networks.
  • Form a commission, reporting to the City Region Board, to identify the breadth and scope of regeneration projects required to enhance our town centres.

Strengthening key sectors: build on Gloucestershire’s strengths in Cyber (Golden Valley and Cyber Central), Agri-Tech, Advanced Manufacturing, Energy and Tourism to drive investment.

  • Gloucestershire will have consolidated its reputation as one of the world’s most advanced and innovative cyber and digital technology clusters and develop its position as the “cradle of cyber-tech innovation”.
  • Gloucestershire’s Cyber cluster will be internationally renowned and benefit through increased collaboration across the Western Gateway region making it the best place to start and grow a digital business in the UK.
  • The county will be renowned for its role in developing industry-changing technology in agri-tech, sustainable aviation and advanced manufacturing.
  • The agriculture sector will be decarbonised through investment in innovative techniques and technology, while retaining jobs and improving food security.
  • Gloucestershire will be a leading county in clean energy generation retaining the nuclear investment and jobs in our county.
  • Gloucestershire will be a leading authority in promoting sustainable tourism, ensuring visitors enjoy all the county has to offer while protecting the environment and boosting the local economy.
  • Work with the private sector to identify the global demand for new technology in the food chain, for example, the need for cyber security as digitalisation encompasses every aspect of the food chain.
  • Identify the opportunities from the Golden Valley development for the whole county to grow sustainable prosperity across Gloucestershire’s Cyber cluster.
  • Deliver stronger digital and regional transport links between sector clusters across the Western Gateway area enabling greater collaboration and improvements in economic agglomeration.
  • Identify the routes to grow and transform manufacturing as industries seek reshoring.
  • Grow high value sustainable tourism by promoting Gloucestershire’s year-round attractiveness through its landscape, food offer and heritage thereby extending the average length of stay.

Energy: to keep investing in the low carbon and renewable energy sector and investigate new forms of alternative energy.

All sectors will have moved to renewable, and zero carbon energy and energy production will be carbon zero.

Develop a plan to improve low carbon and alternative forms of energy generation and encourage greater adoption of green energy and sustainable energy practices.

Digital infrastructure: to ensure high quality gigabit-capable digital networks and pervasive mobile coverage is accessible across the county so urban and rural communities and businesses can rely on fast and reliable digital connections to enable home and office working.

  • We want businesses and residents to have no barriers to robust digital infrastructure enabling development and use of digital technologies that benefit our economy and society.
  • We want our SMEs to make better use of digital technology to deliver more impact in businesses with lower levels of productivity.




  • Provide support to Government as they manage the delivery of Project Gigabit.
  • Promote the Gloucestershire Digital Household Grant to premises not upgraded to Superfast Broadband to fund a 4G based solution.
  • Support rollout of 5G infrastructure where deployment occurs in accordance with the Codes of Practice and existing regulations to minimise the impact on communities and the environment.

Biodiversity recovery: to keep improving the natural environment and protecting these assets, while delivering economic development through business growth, sustainable tourism, infrastructure and transport connectivity.

We want everybody to benefit from Gloucestershire’s outstanding landscapes as the county becomes a leader in biodiversity recovery and conservation with at least 10% net gain regenerated through innovation and social value in all major investments.

  • Promote and highlight that biodiversity and economic growth are not mutually exclusive, for example sustainable farming, green infrastructure, and sustainable tourism.
  • Underscore the importance of protecting the natural environment through biodiversity net gain, reducing waste, supporting sustainable farming, and lowering individual carbon footprints.

Environment: protect and repair Gloucestershire’s natural assets by prioritising the transition to a green economy.

Gloucestershire’s economy will be maturing as it continues to operate on a carbon net-zero basis from 2045.

  • Support the development of technological solutions in aviation, manufacturing and digital that can decarbonise industries.
  • Improve the conditions required to sustainably grow the agri-tech sector to deliver farming efficiencies and food security.
  • Provide and clearly signpost support for farmers on climate targets to help diversify farm operations and be more resilient.

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