Quarter 3 (July - September), 2021
BUSINESS GROUPS E-MAGAZINE
To ensure that Gloucestershire is
a vibrant, year-round destination
for tourists of all ages and from all locations.
To ensure a joined-up approach to every area of the county, to share best practice to generate a holistic approach to building the visitor economy.
To work with tourism bodies to
ensure opportunities for showcasing what Gloucestershire has to offer,
is promoted effectively both at home and abroad.
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This group provides a platform for representatives from the county’s business membership groups to engage with each other and with Board representatives.
This group provides a conduit between the LEP Board and membership groups to identify mutual needs and solutions to enhance economic growth.
GFIRST LEP | BUSINESS GROUPS E-MAGAZINE
Retail and High Street
To have a joined-up approach to the current retail offering within the county.
To identify current challenges facing high street businesses and work together to encourage diversification and support.
To offer support in identifying and facilitating the planning of employment land within the county particularly along the M5 ‘growth zone’.
To work collaboratively to support infrastructure developments surrounding planned growth areas, taking into consideration any environmental and social impact.
BUSINESS GROUP MANAGER
Banking and Finance
Work with the full spectrum of banks and financial organisations within the county to offer holistic support and advice to businesses. Offering financial guidance to Growth Hub clients through ‘clinics’ offering impartial financial advice and signposting.
To assist in the implementation of the county’s Local Industrial Strategy. Work closely with GFirst LEP Investment panel to offer investment recommendations to the Board.
Agri Food and
Supporting sustainable rural businesses with their growth potential; identifying areas of opportunity and support from associated organisations.
To assist in the implementation of the county’s Local Industrial Strategy Agri-tech strand.
Work with partners to deliver a food strategy for the county: using food as the vehicle for driving positive social, economic and environmental change.
To support the key Government objective of making the UK one of the most secure places in the world to do business.
To develop the county, in particular Cheltenham as the ‘cyber cradle’ for innovative Cyber-tech start-ups and to offer the opportunity for the growth and development within the county, capitalising on the world-class Cyber-tech institutions based here.
Ensure the application of Gloucestershire’s Sustainable Energy Strategy into new projects. To work collaboratively to strive for the ambition for Gloucestershire to become carbon neutral by 2050.
To encourage the adoption of measures
to improve the efficiency of energy usage by businesses.
Identify and address skills shortages within the sector, engaging with academia to address these gaps and incorporate the manufacturing initiatives into the STEM learning environment.
To ensure the right talents and capabilities are developed and retained within the county, avoiding skills seepage.
To assist in the implementation of the county’s Local Industrial Strategy.
As a collective representation of the professional services in the county, to act collaboratively to review and feedback on GFirst LEP pipeline project proposals for consideration of future funding opportunities.
Demand for basic items like cardboard has gone up globally. Wood and shipping containers are 3 times the price compared to 2019.
The ageing workforce in this industry is a real concern and COVID-19 seems to have exaserbated this.
NICRE (National Innovation Centre for Rural Enterprise) has recently completed a regional rural business survey of a large number of farm and non-farm businesses, gathering information on Covid-19 impacts and skills needs going forward.
The AHDB (Agriculture and Horticulture Development Board have created an innovative and challenging draft skills strategy as a starting point to transforming the industry’s approach to skills
Professor Jo Price handed over the reins of group Chair, to Claire Whitworth, Vice Principal for Further Education at Hartpury University and College. Jo thanked the group for their commitment and dedication to supporting Gloucestershire's rural businesses, identifying opportunities for collaboration with other organisations and assisting in the development and implementation of the county’s Local Industrial Strategy Agri-tech strand.
"I have thoroughly enjoyed the role as I have had the privilege of working with a great group of people. There is a great sense of energy and purpose in the team and I am sure it will continue to make a real difference."
Claire's previous roles include Head of Land-based Faculty, Head of Department for Animal Management and Veterinary Health, Curriculum Leader for Agriculture and Agriculture lecturer within the land-based education sector.
TOMORROW'S ENGINEERS CODE: Pioneered by Engineering UK, the code is a commitment to increase the diversity and number of young people entering engineering careers. To inspire an insightful workforce and deliver a joined-up approcah to drive change at scale.
Green Jobs Task force report is out now. Click here to view
Jim is Regional Director for the South of England at Make UK
Jim develops and grows the Make UK membership in the South of England. Leading Make UK policy and external affairs activity in the region, making sure members gain maximum value for their membership, utilising services and support available. Jim also also leads the Make UK community team to ensure that Make UK community members benefit from effective peer-to-peer connections with both on-line and face to face components.
Make UK is the manufacturer's organisation helping to support all UK manufacturers and is the most powerful force backing UK manufacturing.
Transport providers are extremely busy. Factories are experiencing high staff shortages and skills availability is starting to bite.
NEW MEMBER PROFILE
It's a mixed bag: trying to hire skilled workforce is a nightmare. Last month was our best on record though.
Up to 80% of AEM companies have seen an uplift in business however raw materials costs have rocketed.
Find out more
The impact of changes to agri-payment systems to farm businesses: 12 months ago 50% of farmers hadn't heard of ELM. The Basic Payment System (BPS) in the UK will drop from £39.5million in 2020 to £5million in 2027. This will potentially impact wider communities and industries such as tourism. The increased pressure among the farming community with have an impact on local environments and landscapes. Dairy farmers are far less supported by the BPS so they will lose out on grazing availability, especially as farmland is in high demand for development. This reduction in grassland is of concern to National Trust. especially as Cotswolds areas have already seen a big reduction.
AHDB skills strategy
NEW GROUP CHAIR APPOINTED
We need new equipment and technology to be designed in the UK and a real push for R&D.
The group welcomed several new members at the last meeting including Claire Minnett from Natural England, Jenny Phelps from FWAG and Sarah Carr, Head of Farm491.
Sarah Carr heads up Farm491 based from Cirencester's Growth Hub at the Royal Agricultural University, Sarah develops partnerships, R&D and commercial initiatives to help grow the UK’s AgriTech ecosystem and promote the adoption of new technologies in the future of food production.
Claire Minnett and Jenny Phelps will support the Agrifood subgroup. The sub group aims to secure the local farm-to-fork supply chain into anchor institutions to make it more accessible for producers to get their produce into local supply chains, as well making healthy, fresh, local food more accessible to everyone.
Visit the Agri group page online to view the full list of group members
View clinic dates
Lloyds Bank International Trade portal is designed to assist clients in targeting the right market and to making their first shipment to International markets. It's a self-service resource which is free to use and is a global source of trade information and opportunities. It provides the information and support customers need to expand into new markets.
BRITISH BUSINESS BANK VIEW
The group were delighted to welcome Richard Stevens, Vice Chairperson and Treasurer of Pride in Gloucestershire to the meeting.
Pride in Gloucestershire aim to promote awareness of LGBTQIA+ issues by providing information, education and entertainment in a safe and welcoming environment. They are dedicated to campaigning for progress and acceptance for the whole community. They are asking Gloucestershire businesses to get involved in their bid to host Euro Pride 2026 - either through funding, sponsorship, or awareness generation of the event. Euro Pride 2026 aims to attract over 200,000 people over a 2-3 week period.
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Liquidity and cash flow is OK for now, but what do the next 12 months look like as businesses are weaned off government support?
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SMALL BUSINESS FINANCE MARKETS REPORT 2021:
Almost half (45%) of SMEs applied for external financial support in 2020, compared to 13% in 2019.
89% of businesses seeking finance in 2020 did so because of the impact of Covid-19.
Some secondary lenders are renaming loans as 'recovery' loans which are offering unattractive rates. Businesses should exhaust all other amenities first.
Additional supply chain costs, as well as wage and product price increases are being passed onto the end-user. The price of brass for example has increased by over 300%
Explore the who, what, where, when and how of International Trade markets
Flexible working: London is still quiet and some clients won't return here. Several clients have downsized or removed their office space altogether. Offering flexible working options when recruiting is now considered 'the norm'
FREE BANKING AND FINANCE CLINICS
Recovery loan scheme (RLS) continues to have lenders accredited which are now at 60 plus. The uptake of loans has been relatively low - we believe in part due to late applications for CBILS before the deadline due to more favourable terms and also that this scheme is different to the previous COVID loan schemes only where the bank couldn't do the lending, therefore most banks and lenders have opted to take the lending onto their own balance sheet which we are aware is lower than in recent times.
We continue to hear that the credit appetite of the main banks is lower than in previous periods and pre COVID - are we doing enough to raise alternative finance to the SME’s across the Gloucester region?
Indebtedness - feedback from stakeholders is that insolvency teams are not busy and they continue to work within the corporate finance offers. Our own feedback from lenders is that a number of SME are taking up the pay as you grow options in extending a BBLS loan from 6 to 10 years - do we need to do any work on letting SME’s know about these options?
The British Business Bank is concentrating on recovery and future growth whilst developing policies to support net zero.
Visit British Business Bank
Banking and Finance
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SKILLS ROUNDTABLE REVIEW: working with the higher and further education establishments across the county, a critical skills review will show what is available currently, and if this is what businesses are asking for. Alignment with the Growth Hub Network will further embed skills and employment opportunities with the business community.
Each group focuses on a key part of Gloucestershire’s economy, providing a platform for local company leaders to help us shape the future of the county.
Our groups are always looking for innovative, dynamic and enthusiastic people who can help us make
a positive difference to Gloucestershire’s economy.
The University of Gloucestershire's ACE course launched in October: ACE - Architecture in the Construction Environment was awarded part of a £1.5million investment and will compliment the existing offering in Town Planning and Landscape Architecture. Unfortunately the digital construction module is no longer going ahead due to a lack of teaching staff qualified in this area. As industry relies more on AI, this is of real concern for the future of the industry and will be reviewed in more detail at the Gloucestershire SME business review.
What do SMEs need, who are they and how can we help? CBI survey results show businesses are changing their mindset from growth and investment to crisis management. As SME Champion on the Board for GFirst LEP, Business group Chair Ian Mean will lead a discussion on SMEs in the county:
"...how will we seek to help those who lose their jobs after furlough ends next week? How will we combine to find work for them and re-training?... our companies here are the life and breath of the county and we must ensure they are not side-lined by government."
GLOUCESTERSHIRE SME BUSINESS REVIEW
Did you know that GFirst LEP is guided by sector-based business groups?
Skills and labour shortages are continuing to be felt across the economy, with businesses concerned it could take more than two years to resolve. Further government support is needed to help firms access the people and skills they need, whilst businesses need to continue to invest in long-term adjustments.
The shortage of HGV drivers is causing immediate stock shortages across the economy - from timber to milk. Some critical infrastructure firms are concerned about supply issues toward the end of the year i.e. water suppliers because of disruption moving treatment chemicals.
Small business owners in the South West are continuing to remain confident and optimistic about their prospects. The FSB surveyed its members at the end of June and found that although confidence levels had gone down slightly from the latest report, FSB members are staying positive in terms of future profit expectations and job prospects. In terms of profit expectations for the next three months, the region was the most optimistic in the country with nearly one in four businesses planning to increase their headcount going forward. FSB members expressed fears about getting appropriately skilled staff and rising costs while investment intentions for local small businesses had decreased.
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"We have seen an increase in the level of competition for vacancies, with applicants demanding higher salaries for their skills."
More employees are being headhunted by City firms which carry larger salaries - talent managers can look nationwide for staff now, as flexible working options mean they only need to commute into the office once or twice a week."
200 business volunteers supported
Employers need to value their employees/freelancers in the same way as they value their consumers...An organisation that attracts, engages, retains and retrains its employees or blended workforce will become an employer of choice.
Career Voyage, BPS group member
Organisations with a predominantly younger workforce are finding employees are keen to return to the office, especially those starting out in the world of work are keen to start their careers properly.
Some larger organisations however are having difficulties getting employees to come back into the office.
There is resistance to return to offices on a full time basis now, and jobs advertised as full time rather than 'flexible' are not getting as many applicants.
An increase in job vacancies due to those taking early retirement and 'burn-out' has shown a need for employers to be flexible to employees requirements, offering flexibility to help work / life balance.
The GFirst LEP Careers Hub was created with one simple aim – to inspire and prepare young people throughout Gloucestershire for the world of work. We work in partnership with the Careers and Enterprise Company, supporting schools and colleges throughout the county, with the help of our committed Enterprise Advisers and volunteers.
Q&A PANEL EVENT: 21st October
43 schools and colleges use the services of the education team
GFirst LEP Employment & Skills
The Skills Portal was launched in November 2020 using funding from Gloucestershire County Council, to bring together into one place and make it easy for anyone to find out more about careers, jobs and training support, both local and national. The platform provides seven different scenarios for the user called ‘journeys’ to swiftly direct them to the most appropriate support for their specific requirements.
Watch our launch video
We are proud to work with Enterprise Advisers - local business professionals who are successfully matched to a school or college to raise the aspirations of young people throughout Gloucestershire, implement the Gatsby Benchmarks, and engage with Senior Leadership Teams within educational facilities. They use their strategic skills to put opportunities with local employers at the heart of a young person’s education.
In February of 2021 Career Coach was launched. Career Coach was added to the Skills Portal to help individuals find out which jobs and careers suit them, with information and links to live job vacancies in Gloucestershire.
"Career Coach brings together everything you need to know about jobs in Gloucestershire and helps you to find out which job or career may suit you best. It’s ideal for students and anyone who is looking for a new job or career path."
Renew & Recovery: Digital Business Transformation
Transformation has become key to businesses operating effectively both remotely and with physical distancing restrictions. Building on a strong track record of innovation across established and emerging sectors, members of the Business and Professional Services group will participate in a Q&A panel event on 21st October. Running as part of 'Digital October' this Growth Hub event plans to offer some guidance and advice around the dynamics emloyees and hybrid working.
The panel will cover questions around confidential data safeguarding, being open to flexible job roles, offering employees access to the right equipment and effectively communicating with your team when they are working flexibly, as well as inclusion, recruiting, and creating an open and honest team environment.
GFirst LEP Employment and Skills team works with local businesses and individuals to identify and overcome challenges, from recruitment to redundancy and upskilling.
Via the Careers Hub and partners, the team aim to ensure young people in Gloucestershire have the opportunities to enable them to be prepared for the future world of work.
Construction and Infrastructure
M5, Junction 10 improvements - following the successful bid from Gloucestershire County Council to Homes England, and the decision now made on the preferred scheme, work has begun on access to and from the motorway northbound and southbound to a new link road into Cheltenham.
This will support growth plans both locally and throughout Gloucestershire, as well as help to solve long standing traffic and travel issues, helping to keep our county moving. Funding is also being made available for improvements to the A4019. We continue to work closely with Highways England so that the construction of this much-needed junction upgrade works for all road users. It is currently anticipated that the junction will be open in 2024.
Gloucester South West Bypass (GSWB) Llanthony Road Widening - road widening work will start in 2022 to include cycle and footpath improvements. The proposed scheme would see the widening of this stretch of the road, optimisation and refurbishment of traffic signals to maximise traffic flows, and improvements to the side road junctions to improve access for local residents and businesses.
West Cheltenham Transport Improvement (WCTIS) scheme - widening of Arle Court was completed in June 2021 with the Park & Ride slipway due for completion by end of September 2021. Additional Cheltenham to Gloucester cycle routes will also be improved under this scheme starting in November 2021.
Gloucester railway station improvements - work is currently being carried out to review highway access onto Metz Way with works underway on Bruton Way.
In total GFirst LEP has brought in £112.9million to the county via Growth Deal Funding and the Getting Building Fund (GBF), as well as €41 million in European funding through our EU Structural and Investment Funds Strategy.
Thanks to these deals, we’re funding cutting-edge projects, fuelling innovation and facilitating change, laying solid foundations for Gloucestershire’s next steps. to economic growth.
By 2023 it will be a Planning requirement for all developers to enhance biodiversity either on or near-to site. The Gloucestershire Local Nature Partnership are illustrating ways to achieve Biodiversity Net Gain whilst meeting Green Infrastructure Standards and environmental offsetting. They are looking for Pilot areas to work with them so developers can improve site design, learn how the scheme will operate and have the opportunity to be used as a case study with Local Planning Authorities.
They also have a Project Manager position available - click below for more information.
Biodiversity Net Gain
Cyber Incubation Units
Business and Community Projects
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The Joint Core Strategy (JCS) is a partnership between Gloucester City Council, Cheltenham Borough Council and Tewkesbury Borough Council, which sets out a strategic planning framework for the three areas. The JCS was adopted by all three councils in December 2017 and is now undergoing a review.
The JCS Review will look again at: Future growth needs, the best strategy for delivering growth, the allocation of strategic sites to help meet needs, evaluate policies in the adopted JCS to ensure effectiveness and consistency with the National Planning Policy Framework.
The Gloucestershire Applied Digital Skills Centre
A preferred development partner has been selected to assist in bringing forward the £1billion first phase of the Golden Valley Development. Cheltenham Borough Council announced that HBD X Factory has been selected as its preferred development partner. A planning application will follow later in 2022, leading to the start of construction and completion of the first phases.
The Golden Valley Development is working at a Western Gateway level with an International aspect. Within industry there is an increasing dependency on digital infrastructure and technology advancement, The Golden Valley project will give a broad, digital brand appeal encompassing cyber within this.
GROUNDBREAKING UNIVERSITY PARTNERSHIP: The University of Gloucestershire is joining forces with The Fachhochschule del Mittelstands(FHM) University to establish an institute for cyber security and digital innovation in Germany.
Professor Kamal Bechkoum, Head of the University's School of Computing and Engineering said:“Our experience and sector-leading partnerships in the fast-paced world of cyber make us perfectly placed to partner with FHM in delivering this project, which will tackle the cyber skills shortage and facilitate digital innovation in both the UK and Germany.”
Gloucestershire College is a proud partner in the West of England Institute of Technology (WEIoT), working in collaboration with academic and employer partners to deliver word-class technical education. As part of the WEIoT, Gloucestershire College secured £3million to invest in a state-of-the-art cyber training centre known as ADA: The Advanced Digital Academy, named after Ada Lovelace, the first computer programmer..
How do ransomware attacks happen? Cyber criminals are looking for quick-wins and will exploit the following:
Having weak passwords for your email accounts and in-house systems
Not enabling the use of two factor authentication (2FA)
Unpatched software – keeping devices up to date is essential. It’s imperative to install the updates in order to stay protected.
Golden Valley Development: Partnership announced
ACT The App Association
CYBER TECH TIPS
Ben is Customer Success Director at Salus Cyber
Based in Cheltenham and founded in 2017, Salus Cyber is a certified provider of world-class cybersecurity services.
By applying advanced skills Salus helps protect all 3 lines of defence across multiple industry sectors, securing existing investments in cyber security whilst determining the root causes of risk profiles.
Ben brings to the group his broad knowledge of software and the challenges faced across various industries Including Software/Tech, Manufacturing, Asset Management
View the timeline
CYBER SKILLS BOOTCAMPS: Both the University of Gloucestershire and Gloucestershire College are offering flexible 'bootcamp' courses in cyber skills available for free to those aged 19 and over who are in work, self-employed, recently unemployed or returning to work after a break.
The South West Cyber Resilience Centre are spotlighting the impact of ransomware attacks on businesses and supply chain implications. If you’ve got a marketing team and they’re hacked, do you lose control of your social media accounts? If your main supplier falls victim to ransomware, do you grind to a halt too? the better protected those in your network are, the safer you are too.
Stephen is UK Membership and Engagement Manager at ACT The App Association
ACT:The App Association represents more than 5,000 app makers and connected device companies in the mobile economy. Organisation members leverage the connectivity of smart devices to create innovative solutions that make our lives better. The App Association is the leading industry resource on market strategy, regulated industries, privacy, and security. Stephen is currently working the FRAND commitment: that patent licenses are bought on fair, reasonable and non-discriminatory terms.
County-wide Climate Change Co-ordinator Afriqnmun is excited to bring her experience from across the climate change spectrum to help position Gloucestershire at the forefront of national best practice on delivering net zero. By developing networks with all partner agency political and climate representatives as well as relevant strategies and reports, Afriqnmum will review county wide climate change governance bringing forward recommendations for enhancement where necessary.
Other priorities will be to build and link into regional and national networks to position Gloucestershire as a leader on climate change and to consider public engagement activities including COP26 'fringe' events and how these can support delivery of the county’s ambition.
Afriqnmun Lovejoy MBE
Gloucestershire's Climate Change Co-ordinator
People are the biggest challenge in business, but will always be the greatest reward
SKILLS FOCUS: SGS Berkeley proposes to be the centre for new
energy and retrofitting skills, to try to reduce the gap between
skills need and current qualifications. Digital skills are also
needed to operate high tech specialist equipment within energy industries of which there is also a shortage.
Energy Business group co-chair Simon Pickering has written an article about the best returns on investment which can be made by improving the energy performance of your house.
AccXel Centre update: Business Growth and Partnership Director Natalie Bell gave an update to the group on the AccXel centre - the UK's first co-funded industry led construction school. The aim of the centre is to change the face of construction education, to attract and retain people into construction to make it an aspirational career choice.
The Active Building Centre update: ABC's aim is to revolutionise the way in which buildings are powered and heated to accelerate the UK's drive towards net zero carbon. Their buildings and demo portfolio uses business models, evidence and enabling and emerging technology to develop greener homes and buildings. The Prime Minister has recorded a video about the Gloucestershire COP26 event in October. Click on the logo below to view.
The South West procurement process for retrofit programme will start this summer.
The South West Energy Hub have been awarded more funding to help with public sector decarbonisation support.
Applications are encouraged from Gloucestershire, especially for the Community Renewal Fund.
CREDS (Centre for Research into Energy Demand Solutions) place-based carbon calculator was designed by researchers from CREDS, it is a free tool that maps the carbon footprint of every neighbourhood in England. It provides a recourse for local government and community organisations to help them plan and enact the changes that are needed to meet net-zero goals and their own climate energy declarations.
IMPACT have also created a free community carbon calculator - a visual representation of community carbon footprints to help communities to make informed decisions on their climate change activities.
Gloucestershire Sustainable Energy Strategy
This strategy draws on the report of a project commissioned from the Centre for Sustainable Energy by GFirst LEP, funded by the Department of Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy (BEIS). It is based on an extensive evidence review and stakeholder engagement undertaken between May 2018 and October 2018, including a workshop involving some 50 stakeholders from all sectors in the county and the regular involvement of a strategy development steering group drawn from the GFirst LEP’s Energy Business Group.
The report contains significant additional analysis and detail which underpins the recommendations and conclusions presented in this strategy. It can be accessed by contacting firstname.lastname@example.org
Gloucester Branding Review
Cheltenham BID secures business votes for a second term
Retail and High Street
Gloucester City Council has commissioned thinkingplace to develop a place narrative and marketing approach for the City
There is some positivity and encouragement to return to offices and generate income for town centre businesses. Younger staff members seem to be very keen to return. Some businesses are enquiring after more office space, not less.
Stroud and Cirencester markets are doing well with a waiting list for traders. Customers are socially dictancing as much as possible with majority choosing to wear masks. Cirencester has had some new openings.
(Cheltenham)Trade is good, but with a challenging footfall. The emphasis is on keeping customers and staff safe. A slowly, slowly approach to business picking up in a safe, controlled way.
Cheltenham Business Improvement District has received the overwhelming backing of businesses in the town to secure a second term. The BID will immediately commence works on delivering the priorities set out in its new Business Support, Marketing & Promotion, Town Centre Events, and Townscape Enhancements.
Originally created in 2016, the BID was voted in to represent and support over 600 levy paying businesses in the town centre and went on to invest over £2.1 million into the town over the course of its first term.
As part of the renewal ballot the BID zone has been extended and will now include an additional 250 businesses which will benefit from its support.
“The BID board and team are delighted with the result of their recent renewal ballot. They had a 46 percent turnout with 86 percent majority yes votes with an aggregated rateable value of 90 percent. This is testament to the hard work everyone has put in over the past five years and we wish Kevan [Blackadder] could have been here to celebrate. I know he would have wanted to join the rest of us in thanking the businesses for their support.”
— Belinda Hunt, Operations Manager at Cheltenham BID
(Gloucester) There is lots of activity with businesses regarding outside space and opportunities with Kings Square development which is on track to open by the end of 2021.
"While a range of place marketing is undertaken across the city, I think it is fair to say that we lack a clear, compelling and consistent place brand that we can all unite behind when promoting the area and our organisations beyond our borders. We believe a new, shared place narrative will help build civic pride and confidence, help us market the area to attract inward investment and create jobs, and support existing business in the area."
- Rebecca Clay, Tourism and Destination Marketing Manager, Gloucester City Council
There is retail growth from secondary locations with localism at the fore. How can we use 'prime-pitch' loctions on the High Street more effectively? There is no pop-up retail activity in regional destinations
(Tewkesbury) Hospitality establishments are welcoming visitors back with open arms.
Caravan parks are full and the High streets are busy as a result
Attractions and Accommodation sold out over the Summer.
Recovery grant funding is in place until March 2022.
‘Find your freedom’ campaign is a huge success
Working with Forestry England, the Forest of Dean have launched their ‘Find your freedom’ campaign to support family cycling in the area.
Community Rail Partnership have developed four trail maps named 'Taste for Travel'. Linking Lydney to the Forest of Dean, with two around Cheltenham and two around Stroud and Stonehouse.
Marketing Cheltenham have several Meeting, Incentives, Conference and Events (MICE) projects underway and remain positive for the Cheltenham Literary Festival as their first live event taking place in various locations around the Town between 8th - 17th October 2021.
Visit Gloucestershire has had a busy Summer and is now working with Gloucestershire County Council to secure funds through to 2024.
Tourism Strategy outcomes for Spring / Summer 2022 are in the process of being designed.
There are currently 1,300 vacancies just in the Hospitality sector in Gloucestershire - are there Inward Investment opportunities for the sector to support it to grow?
COTSWOLD VALE & BERKELEY
It’s been a really tough few years for our hospitality industry, and local businesses really deserve recognition and support for their resilience and growth in the face of adversity. After overcoming the pandemic’s challenges, we can start to focus on the future.
Steve Gardner Collins, Hotelier, CEO Visit Gloucestershire and Visitor Economy and Tourism business group Chair
FOREST OF DEAN
"Christmas Parties are selling out already. We have confident levels of bookings for Autumn/Winter."
"We need to be careful to attract visitors in, but to try to avoid bringing new variants of COVID in."
"Several hospitality workers moved into the retail sector and as they are classed as key workers, have decided not to move back. This has created recruitment issues in the hospitality sector."
Find out more
"City-wide re-branding is continuing, with Autumn staycations being promoted. The Ice-rink and Markets will be back for Christmas in Gloucester."
"It's proving difficult to locate service providers to offer short courses on food hygiene and basic hospitality training which isn't helping."
"How can we make Tourist Information Centres relevant to the 21st century visitor? Can we consider a county-wide review based on what's working in other areas?"
Berkeley Vale Tourism have a new website
There are now 200 locations in the District with QR codes for visitors to find out more about the area and to encourage day visitors to stay for longer.
Click on the logo to visit the website
"The grey pound is still strong. People are still interested in discovering what is on their doorstep."
Visitor Economy & Tourism
No nonsense. No small talk. No cost.
The Growth Hub offers a one-stop shop for support; be that funding, training or general expertise. There are very few providers that can offer the same services that The Growth Hub can, and that’s why we use them.
Peer Networks is a really good opportunity to speak to other businesses about the problems we’ve encountered, how we’ve got over them, what’s next for our business, and ways we can work with other people in the future. After our first session I spoke to another participant and we will be doing business together next year. We would never have known about one another if it wasn’t for Peer Networks.
Find out about Peer Networks
Find out about The Growth Hub
All Gloucestershire businesses are able to access our online business support, attend our networking events and use The Growth Hub space.
Growth Hubs are now open in Stroud, and Forest of Dean, with Cheltenham well underway. This adds to the already-established Growth Hubs in Tewkesbury, Cirencester and Gloucester as well as information points in county libraries.
Our in-house Business Navigators and Business Guides are on-hand to offer bespoke support to businesses that show moderate growth and high growth respectively.
I would wholeheartedly and absolutely recommend Peer Networks to every business leader looking for new ideas, fresh ways of thinking, and a sense of community.
Listen to inspiring business stories
Solve your problems without having to find, pay for, or rely on expensive consultants.
The 2-hour free workshops, taking place over
12 weeks, will allow participants to share their own lessons and learn from those who have already been-there-done-that. Led by trained facilitators, each workshop is designed to produce solutions and answers, as well as
build a trusted network for the future.
The Growth Hub
T: 01242 715480