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Advanced Digital Academy officially opens in Cheltenham

Cheltenham Campus was buzzing with excitement as it welcomed over 100 VIP guests from the cyber-tech industry to the official opening of its £3m Advanced Digital Academy (ADA), a state-of-the-art cyber and IT training facility that offers an exceptional learning environment for GC computing and cyber students and apprentices.

The event was run in partnership with Harrison Clark Rickerbys, which chose ADA to mark the success of its three-day Cyber Conference; bringing together experts from education, government and the cyber-tech industry for an evening of networking and showcases.

Guests had a unique opportunity to tour ADA’s facilities, meet industry-experienced lecturers and see GC’s students in action as they offered demos in coding, artificial intelligence facial recognition and games design.

The evening also offered the opportunity for businesses to explore the new on-site Hub8 GC, an innovation and co-working space built for start-ups, SMEs and global companies in the cyber-tech, digital and creative sectors. As well as the College’s impressive new engineering facilities, funded by the West of England Institute of Technology (WEIoT).

There were welcome speeches from Principal and Chief Executive, Matthew Burgess; Partner, Head of Cheltenham Office and Head of Education Sector, HCR, Kristine Scott; Cabinet Member for Culture, Wellbeing and Business, Cllr Victoria Atherstone; Golden Valley Development Project Lead, Tim Atkins; Director, CyNam, Madeline Howard; and Director, CyNam/Hub8 Bruce Gregory – all had one theme in common: the importance of government, business and education working together on closing the local sector skills gap and fostering a new generation of tech talent in Gloucestershire and nation-wide.

Cllr. Victoria Atherstone said: “We’re extremely fortunate to have this new £3m government funded cyber and IT training centre here in Cheltenham. This facility is for everyone and we really need people to use it. Whether you’re looking to do an IT course at Level 2, which is the equivalent of 5 GCSEs, or Level 3 the equivalent of 3 A Levels or even Level 6 that will give you a degree in IT - I know Gloucestershire College guarantees progression.

"The cyber industry is booming here in Cheltenham, so I will be encouraging all young people or those looking for a career change to explore careers in the technology sector locally and to register for a course here at ADA.“

Matthew Burgess, Principal and CEO said: “We are all aware of both the demand for skills in the area of technology and the shortage of skills in this field. As a college we were very interested in being part of an ambitious project to position Cheltenham as a regional and national centre for cyber-tech businesses and supply industry-critical skills for our economy.

“In partnership with the West of England Institute of Technology (WEIoT), we created ADA’s facilities that include eight computing labs, science and forensic toolkits, study pods, networking spaces and a cutting-edge attack and defence room. We are proud to have assembled an excellent group of professionals who deliver a wide range of bespoke programmes to our students and apprentices.

“ADA is now officially open for business and is an important symbol of the bright cyber-tech future for Cheltenham and Gloucestershire.”


If you’d like to find out more about how ADA can support your business growth, contact the GC Business Hub on 01452 536400 or email

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