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The Business Magazine November 2023
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Cheltenham cyber co-working space sold to national innovation company Plexal

18 January 2023
The Business Magazine article image for: Cheltenham cyber co-working space sold to national innovation company Plexal

Innovation company and coworking space Plexal  has acquired a majority shareholding in Hub8 – a growing network of co-working spaces for businesses in the cyber-tech, digital and creative sectors in and around Cheltenham.

Plexal, founded by DV4, a long-term investment fund advised by Delancey already has a presence in London and Manchester, and has acquired the Cheltenham company as part of an ongoing mission to build the UK’s most connected cyber ecosystem, delivering prosperity and ensuring national security.

Cheltenham is the natural home of the UK’s cyber ecosystem given GCHQ’s more than 70-year heritage in the region. Hub8 launched the town’s first co-working space dedicated to enabling the growth of the region’s cyber-tech sector in 2019. The innovative startup has grown rapidly with the launch of its second facility in partnership with Gloucestershire College at its Cheltenham campus in September 2021.

Hub8 first started engaging with Plexal in 2019 – this was the beginning a collaborative relationship for the companies, sharing ideas, connecting each other’s communities, and plotting new initiatives for the good of the ecosystem.

In 2021, Plexal and Hub8 collectively won the National Cyber Security Centre (NCSC) Innovation Partner programme, dedicated to working with startups to help them develop and pilot their solutions, adapting their technology to new cyber challenges. Demonstrating the impact of their work, the NCSC for Startups alumni of over 60 companies has collectively raised over £430m and created hundreds of jobs nationwide.

This acquisition builds on the regional partnership developed to date and comes amidst the development of an innovation space at Cheltenham’s Minster Exchange in partnership with Cheltenham Borough Council, which is built to drive economic growth and job opportunities in the local area.

Bruce GregoryBruce Gregory, managing director of Hub8, added: “Since being introduced to Plexal in 2019, we’ve established a partnership that has supported and enabled the cyber tech community in Cheltenham and the southwest region to flourish and grow. As the Managing Director of Hub8 I’m excited to bring our companies even closer together and the opportunity this will have for our community to connect with other key locations across the UK where government, industry, startups and academia can collaborate to unlock innovation.”

Andrew Roughan, CEO of Plexal, said: “We’re delighted to be entering a new phase of growth for Plexal and see this move as a key step as our company becomes more firmly embedded within the UK’s ambition to develop a world-class cyber sector.

“At Plexal, we’re focused on solving society’s challenges through collaboration with government, startups and industry to unlock prosperity and reinforce national security. With the southwest region emerging as the preeminent hub for cross-sector collaboration in cyber and national security, it was clear we fit into the heart of that ecosystem and are excited to help drive its future growth and development, as we close the gap between regions.”

Nicky Godding is editor of The Business Magazine. Before her journalism career, she worked mainly in public relations moving into writing when she was invited to launch Retail Watch, a publication covering retail and real estate across Europe.

After some years of constant travelling, she tucked away her passport and concentrated on business writing, co-founding a successful regional business magazine. She has interviewed some of the UK’s most successful entrepreneurs who have built multi-million-pound businesses and reported on many science and technology firsts.

She reports on the region’s thriving business economy from start-ups, family businesses and multi-million-pound corporations, to the professionals that support their growth and the institutions that educate the next generation of business leaders.

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