Find your Happy Place in Cheltenham – As Cheltenham ‘re-opens’ its doors as the penultimate step of the Government’s Covid-19 Spring Roadmap gets underway, businesses are putting their weight behind a new ‘feel good’ campaign aimed at boosting trade and revitalising the community.
Launched in conjunction with Cheltenham Borough Council, ‘Find Your Happy Place’ is engaging with the town’s business and hospitality owners to discover what they think makes Cheltenham such a thriving place to be, highlighting its exciting development prospects for the future to drive innovation and create significant employment opportunities in the area.
Following the Government announcement, this week sees hotels, indoor attractions and hospitality finally reopen their doors after what has been an incredibly tumultuous 12 months for the sector. With the huge challenges and uncertain future many businesses still face, the campaign will also focus on welcoming back the local community and visitors in the safest way possible, to increase footfall and pump lifeblood back into the local economy.
As part of a wider campaign to encourage people to share their Happy Place in Cheltenham, a promo film featuring local businesses and some of Cheltenham’s well-known attractions and open spaces will showcase its renowned hospitality, feel-good vibe and all-round visitor offer as well as its distinctive sense of place and popularity as one of the UK’s favourite places to live.
Cheltenham’s road to recovery has been further boosted by ambitious plans for growth and development over the next few years across the region, thanks to significant investment which aims to place the ‘capital of the Cotswolds’ firmly on the global map as the UK’s most vibrant hub for commerce, tech and innovation.
This includes the forthcoming £400 million cyber-themed Golden Valley Development, Designer Outlet Cotswolds off Junction 9 of the M5, and the growing concept of the Western Powerhouse.
Cllr Rowena Hay, leader of Cheltenham Borough Council said: “We’re delighted at the prospect of a brighter summer ahead, in every sense of the word. In what has been for many of us an incredibly difficult year like no other, the town can now focus on the future with a renewed sense of hope and purpose as we follow the roadmap out of lockdown.
‘’But it’s also important to recognise that the pandemic has impacted on people’s mental health and wellbeing, and as a result, people are going to feel anxious about the return to normality. That is why we have also launched our Heads Up campaign last week to provide support and encouragement to help people find their happy place. For some this may mean having some quiet time in our amazing parks and gardens, volunteering with local community projects or socialising with friends. The campaign is all about welcoming locals and visitors alike back into the town to find and enjoy their happy place, whilst of course still observing necessary safety measures.”
Cllr Victoria Atherstone, cabinet member for economy and development added: “Cheltenham is a thriving gem of the Cotswolds, renowned for its plethora of festivals, culture, restaurants, bars, hotels, history, events, shops, open parks & gardens, sporting activities – you name it – and at the heart of all of this is our vibrant community.
Now is the time to showcase Cheltenham in all its glory as we look to the future and re-build. There are so many exciting opportunities in Cheltenham right now, so we hope this campaign helps to harness this positivity and contributes to the growing business confidence across the town and to the health and wellbeing of our communities.’’
Anna Garrod, at The Coconut Tree restaurant commented: “We love everything about Cheltenham, it’s where we created our first Coconut Tree restaurant located near the Brewery Centre, set back in St Paul’s. Our community has supported our every move and lately championed our collaboration with Rodger Widdecombe, the vicar at St Pauls’ church allowing us to create The Coconut Tree ‘Pop Up on the Lawn’, it was all hands on deck to build an outdoor, 2000sq ft restaurant in days. This is what happens when our unique town comes together in a crisis, it’s our home town, our happy place.”
Lindsey Holland, TURF Cheltenham said: “TURF Cheltenham emerged because of the pandemic, with independent hospitality owners creating a dynamic community of their own to help get through what has turned out to be a pretty unique 18 months. Cheltenham itself has the most amazing hospitality scene and we’re so proud of our part within it that it feels only right to be celebrating Cheltenham as our happy place! With over 40 independent hospitality businesses getting ready to welcome guests back, the excitement among TURF members is electric. We’re all looking forward to a very happy summer in our #happyplacecheltenham.’’
Roadmap permitting, businesses and hospitality owners will also benefit from welcoming back some of the well-known and hugely popular Cheltenham festivals and events that are set to take place across the town this year, including the Cheltenham Food & Drink Festival, Balloon Fiesta, Cricket Festival, Music Festival and, later in the year, the Times & Sunday Times Cheltenham Literature Festival.
For more information on the campaign and how to get involved please see Visit Cheltenham
If you’re a business or organisation in the town and would like to access the asset pack and share your news & stories please visit the Marketing Cheltenham website
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Cheltenham’s campaign forms part of a wider programme of activity to support the high street and local businesses through the pandemic and has been supported by the national Reopening High Streets Safely Fund through the UK Government and European Regional Development Funding.