Gloucester Renaissance: The Magnificent 7

National | Local Business | July 2019 | Issue 42

Gloucester renaissance The Magnificent 7

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Want to be part of it? email or telephone 01452 308781 Punchline’s next issue, GLOUCESTERSHIRE'S 50 LEADING Entrepreneurs will be published in september

This Punchline magazine has taken 15 years to complete…

On my page three piece I don’t normally write about what is actually going to appearing in the pages of the magazine. What’s the point? You have it in your hand. I normally waffle on about what ever takes my fancy and try to end the piece with a few words of wisdom and hopefully a feeling that we’re not all doomed to fail. I try and express that running your own business is actually still a jolly good idea and that we might actually make some money along the way, even if it takes blood sweat and tears. But this time it’s different. I’ve waited nearly a decade and a half to celebrate Gloucester’s rebirth as the greatest small city in the UK. As these pages show, it’s definitely on the UP and UP and UP, with new buildings being built and once-derelict buildings being torn down and regenerated. Like all projects of this type, it takes time and people are always impatient for change. But when the changes take so long, we forget what the starting point was. And that is what we have tried to show and tell the story of here. Gloucester’s journey of renaissance within the pages of this special edition.

The city is by no means the polished article, but it is getting there. What is certain is there is still the collective will from everyone within the city to carry it forward, not just from the business sector but politically, spiritually and from the wider community too. Every now and then it's good to stop. Appreciate what has been achieved – thank those many, many people who have worked tirelessly to get us to this point and then work out, what comes next? Because, believe you me – I think its going to be pretty

special for the whole county if we can get it right l

Mark Owen

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Punchline Magazine is published by Moose Partnership Limited, based at The Old Fire Station, Barbican Road, Gloucester, GL1 2JF. Reproduction of any material, in the whole or part, is strictly forbidden without the prior written consent of the publishers.All material is sent at the owners risk and whilst every care is taken, Moose Partnership Limited will not accept liability for loss or damage. Dates, information and prices quoted are believed to be correct at the time of going to press but are subject to change and no responsibility is accepted for any errors or omissions. Moose Partnership Limited does not accept responsibility for any material submitted, whether photographic or otherwise.All rights reserved ©2019

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Small is beautiful

What the modern equivalent is of the phrase ‘every penny counts’ is difficult to say for those of us living in a cashless economy. But the gist of it – that lots of small amounts of money can make a pretty tidy sum indeed – is what a recent campaign in one of our Cotswold market towns was all about. Mock it you might, but the Nailsworth Fiver Festival - encouraging everyone who lives near or in the town to spend just an extra £5 a week – managed that

meant, it was rather impromptu – and that is one of the most encouraging aspects. “We did not really get too organised, and encouraged

elusive success marketeers call ‘traction’. Shops, cafés, restaurants, pubs and businesses put on special £5 offers. Instagram, Facebook and Twitter were utilised, as were banners. A community had a new cause. Legend has it, that the idea was brought to Nailsworth by Emma Hunter, who runs the wool and craft shop, Mother Goose Crafts, in Market Street, who returned inspired after seeing it at work in Crickhowell,Wales. It helps if your town is already a thoroughly interesting place to explore, but the bottom line of the campaign – its potential financial impact - is a powerful motivation.

people by word of mouth with some social media,” said Ms Thompson, who said everyone had been pleasantly surprised by the difference which seems to have been made. “We think it went really quiet here earlier this year and we were looking around for something which might help bring people back to the town. “We were a bit late getting started, but the town really embraced it. We have about 40 businesses join. It was such a success, we are now getting more organised and plan to run it for a week from August 24. “And one of the aims will be to get businesses promoting businesses across the town, so everyone is encouraging customers to visit other

“If every adult in the town spent an extra £5 per week in Nailsworth that would put an extra £1.2 million back into the community a year and also provide more local jobs,” said Helen Thompson, one of those who spearheaded the campaign. Ms Thompson, originally a native of Yorkshire, but embedded in Nailsworth for 20 years now, runs Betty & Beattie's Vintage Interiors in Market Street and has done for three years. She admits that, although the campaign was well-

shops and hopefully that will also have an impact.” She added: “It is not an original idea. Totally Locally is a national campaign model we simply signed up to and used as a template. They plan to run a national £5 festival in October – and we will jump on that too.” To find out about future campaigns visit Totally Locally Nailsworth Facebook page. Or simply go direct to the town itself and explore l


Why High Street bookmakers are closing? I’d have £5 on the Dalai Lama… If I was a Tibetan man l

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Hear this – before it is too late

Once it was those working in heavy industry most likely to be regularly exposed to noise capable of blighting their lives with hearing loss, tinnitus or other hearing damage. Times change. Sectors like construction, engineering, factories, heavy industry, should have this covered off today – at least those pursuing best-practice and paying attention to the law (see fact box). But those who know about these things will tell you far more of us are at risk of harm to our hearing – and the related consequences (think future litigation, if you are a business) – than ever before. Our modern lifestyle – in particular, the inability to go anywhere without our ears plugged into our mobile phones – is widely considered to be storing up a wave of ear trouble. Couple that with earphones at work, cafes, shops, bars playing loud music continually, and you have just part of a continuous assault on our eardrums – in and out of work. A key bone of contention when the threatened tsunami emerges will be who is to blame? How will you know the damage a former worker wants to take you to court about was not a result of their own decision to consume heavy volume helpings of Spotify? How will you protect your organisation? “TheWorld Health Organisation (WHO) has said nearly half of young people aged 12-35 in well-off countries listen to unsafe levels of sound through portable

music players and smart phones,” said Tom Parker, the Gloucestershire-based director of WorkScreen, which provides a new kind of hearing test equipment for the

workplace. “That’s over a billion people” Such tidal waves have happened before.

In the early noughties, hundreds of former workers at the Cowley car plant came forward with hearing loss. BMW was left facing a bill in excess of £15 million. It wasn’t even the owner when the former staff worked at the car factory. But BMW was still liable in law. “The modern coffee shop is interesting. If you are sticking your staff in an environment where there is continuous music, chatter and your baristas are banging out coffee grains, then we don’t really know what the long-term effects will be. “And although employers have to take action at 85dB, in reality the safe level may actually be just 70dB, according to the EPA (Environmental Protection Agency) in the USA.” According to the UK’s Health and Safety Executive for 70dB think ‘primary school classroom’. If you are too old to recall what that’s like, think ‘loud radio’. Mr Parker should know a thing or two about our ability to monitor and detect hearing loss. “I have been in ears and hearing sector for 15 years now. My last role was managing director of the UK’s oldest supplier of audiology and hearing test equipment to the NHS and the private sector.” Towards the end of his corporate career, he was introduced to new technology developed by Somerset

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“We can sell you a system for a few hundred pounds, or smaller companies can even rent it for just one test. Either option is good value, when you consider your staff can remain in work and you can do the test at a time to suit the business, keeping disruption to a minimum. “But the real win is that it helps businesses remove complexity around the issue. From staff not showing up for appointments to keeping down costs, WorkScreen removes admin charges because it gives instant results in the form of a downloadable report.” For some of its big clients with hundreds,

Tom Parker

acoustician and audiologist, Mark Ashmore, which aimed to provide a simpler, easier way to checking your hearing. When Mr Parker’s time with PC Werth ended in 2015, after it was taken over by the US giant, IntriCon Corp, he saw his opportunity to go into business with Mr Ashmore, by helping employers protect staff against hearing loss - ensuring their duties are fulfilled and defusing any future legal assault. Introduced into a working environment, WorkScreen’s user operated hearing test (tests are required by law if noise in the working environment is above a certain level) helps establish an individual’s baseline hearing ability. Staff and employers can use this to manage their behaviour. “Our kit is designed to be as simple as possible. It comes ready to use in an armoured case for the workplace, complete with an adjustable stand in it,” said Mr Parker. It should all be familiar to most – think case, tablet, earphones and instructions. With telephone support, and instruction, the test meets employer obligations under the Noise at Work Act that the government demands. “You then simply go through the process. Once you have a baseline hearing level, you can establish if hearing is getting worse over time. “The theory is well established – hearing tests have been around since the 1800s.” The easily transportable box – the company will even courier them out to businesses and collect – is a cost-saving way for employers to live up to their obligations to look after their staff.

if not thousands of staff – like Dairy Crest and Muller – theWorkScreen kit was embraced for just these reasons. If your staff may be exposed to noise, are scattered at different sites, if you need to keep production running, if you have one eye on costs but demand quality, it could be music to everyone’s ears. According to the HSE… The Control of Noise at Work Regulations 2005 (the Noise Regulations) came into force for all industry sectors in Great Britain on April 6, 2006 (except for the music and entertainment sectors where they came into force on 6 April 2008). The level at which employers must provide hearing protection and hearing protection zones is now 85 decibels (daily or weekly average exposure) and the level at which employers must assess the risk to workers' health and provide them with information and training is now 80 decibels. According to the Labour Force Survey (2015/16 to 2017/18) 23,000 was the estimated number of workers with work-related hearing problems. According to the British Association of Insurers payouts increased from £50m in 2003 to £350m in 2014, from 15,000 successful claims, with average payout per claim more than doubling. The HSE has recently increased the category of hearing protection products to the maximum level. (PPE Regulation (EU) 2016/425) l For more information visit or phone 0117 2301717

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What price would you put on your eyesight?

Would you say that your ability to see is worth more than £31? Because that is how much a pair of prescription safety glasses costs at Norville Opticians.

mobile optometrist can test eyes and our dispensing optician can dispense safety glasses, without you having to leave the premises.

“We stock a large range of safety frames. that offer many levels of protection from chemicals, impact, sparks and dust. “They come fitted with the right prescription and suitable choice of ophthalmic lenses to suit your work environment. “We can take care of every stage of the process, from eye test to dispense, and fitting of complete safety glasses. “We are local and offer great aftercare service. We pride ourselves in delivering a superb and comprehensive service for your optical needs.” Norville Opticians have worked alongside Trelleborg in Tewkesbury for the past decade, fitting 150 employees at the sealing specialists with the necessary protective eyewear. Charlotte Sims, HSE officer at Trellorborg said: “Norville’s professional service is tailored to our needs, helpful and efficient. “Most importantly, the high quality of the product is able to withstand the tough manufacturing conditions on our shop floor, something that gives us all valuable peace of mind” l To arrange a consultation, contact Tomasz Gacek on 07970 111198 or e-mail

Just £31 is no price, when compared to the threat of losing money through absence at work, or worse, the inability to see. Absence from work costs the UK economy billions every year, but that’s nothing compared to the threat and risk of losing your eyesight because of not being properly protected. Norville Opticians have been looking after the eyes of Gloucestershire for more than a century. And their services go much further than ensuring that newspapers can be read and screens are seen, they have Tomasz Gacek a specialist safety eyewear consultant, working across all 11 branches. Mr Gacek said: “Your eyes are vital to your life both in and out of work, so it’s vital that you look after them. “At Norvilles, we offer a prescription pair of safety glasses from as little as £31 plus VAT – that is such a little price to pay to protect your eyes.

“Norville Corporate Eyecare can also provide your business with a complete package to help you take care of all aspects of your employees’ protective eyewear and visual requirements. “Our team can come to your workplace where our For more information on Norville Opticians


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Punchline speaks exclusively to Margot James MP, the government minister for digital and the creative industries. Imagine holding the government portfolio with no reference point. No history of best practice. No way of checking what your predecessor did when they were in the post back in the day. Imagine then, trying to monitor, regulate and be ahead of the curve when it comes to the vast and endless list of possibilities that the digital sector offers. Now step into the shoes of Margot James MP, the current minister for digital and the creative industries, and imagine yourself having to do that every day. The member of parliament for theWorcestershire town of Stourbridge made a whistle-stop visit to Gloucester at the end of May to formally open the UK Digital Retail Innovation Centre. After cutting the ribbon and seeing what UK:DRIC had to offer, she popped in to headquarters for an interview – the only one she did during her trip. Ms James holds possibly the most exciting portfolio in the government. The industries she oversees and is attempting to regulate are breaking new ground at record speed, in a sector that didn’t exist 30 years ago. Her current ministerial red box will be full of queries about how to tax Amazon, regulate Google and ensure that Facebook behaves like a newspaper publisher. “It’s a difficult challenge in retail, on tax there is inequity” The launch of UK:DRIC comes at a time when the retail sector is struggling. The ministry of the cutting edge

High street behemoths like Debenhams and Boots are struggling, so what chance do smaller retailers have of competing against the internet might of Amazon? While your average independent retailer is – or has been – hampered by overheads and business rates, the internet big boys don’t have the same overheads and have been infamously creative with the tax man. “It’s a difficult challenge in retail, on tax there is inequity there,” Ms James said. “The chancellor has announced that he will be introducing a digital services tax, if the preferred solution of an international solution isn’t reached. “The OECD (Organisation for Economic Cooperation and Development) are working on it, the EU are working on it too. “There are many winners and losers, but at the moment more losers and I hope in time the EU will coordinate a fair tax balance. “There are only a couple of member states that are holding it up, and they must have something to gain by the current system. “Until then, the Chancellor has announced the UK will act unilaterally if international agreement

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Margot James being interviewed by Mark Owen

“Policing online content is going to become much more rigorous” Protecting the interests of long-standing retailers is enough of a responsibility, but add to it the fact that Ms James is also responsible for ensuring individuals are safe online and you get an idea of the scale of her task. The availability and visibility of people online have allowed for greater and easier communication, but it has also led to the scourge of online trolling. The digital industries have developed at such a pace that certain things have been left behind. None of us knew what Twitter was a decade or so ago, let alone knew how to comment on an Instagram photo or update our Snapchat feed. Social media is everywhere and anyone can use it, and do so anonymously – and therein lies a problem. Online trolling and abuse has become widespread and its one of the most pressing concerns for the minister to deal with. Traditional publishers are bound by defamation and

is not forthcoming.” While ensuring the big boys pay their share is one side of the argument, just as important is the ability to keep the smaller enterprises alive and encourage growth at a local level. And the minister believes that it's vital for those on the shop floor to keep hammering the message to those in power that more needs to be done to level the playing field. “Already, I know we have taken an awful lot of very small retailers out of business rates which is good,” Ms James added. “The issue is for the more medium companies. Supermarkets are very badly hit. It’s in inequity that I am aware of, but there is still some way to go in restoring that balance. “The FSB and the retail consortium do fantastic work and they need to keep the pressure on the government. “UK:DRIC is a really good innovation and one that has been very well thought out here in Gloucester. “It’s testimony to the Local Enterprise Partnership and the work of the retail trade here. It’s a terrific national resource that’s built on what Gloucester has done so far.”

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“My big worry is that it may be too late to

slander laws and must be relevant, accurate and legally sound with what they produce. Your average tweeter isn’t. “It is an example of an uneven playing field, without doubt,” Ms James said. “We produced a white paper that we are now consulting on, and that will be the precursor to legislation that we plan to introduce next year to establish an independent, powerful regulator. “They will have the power to introduce codes of practice on all sorts of measures to do with internet harm. “They will be able to use those codes of practice to hold those companies to account for the security, wellbeing and care of their users.” There have been calls for Twitter and Facebook to be regulated in the same way as a newspaper, or website publisher, so that they are held accountable for anything published on their sites. A good idea in theory, but in practice with billions of posts worldwide to monitor each day, it’s never likely to be practical. “They have abused the privilege of their position and that is why they are now under such pressure – not just in Britain but other countries,” Ms James said. “Given the immense amount of content uploaded, it’s difficult to hold them to account for every item, but they have to demonstrate procedures they can enforce when content is discovered. “In Germany, companies face substantial fines if illegal hate speech is reported and not removed within 24hours and that system seems to be working well. “The environment is going to be very much more rigorous than it is at the moment.”

save newspapers” You know the reason why the word ‘gate’ is added on to anything to herald some kind of governmental crisis, don’t you?

If you didn’t hear of Watergate in the 1970s, then you must surely have seen the brilliant film All The President’s Men with Robert Redford and Dustin Hoffman playing BobWoodward and Carl Bernstein. Back in 1972, they held truth to power and brought down the then US President Richard Nixon. Ever since, any governmental crisis brought about by investigation has been suffixed with ‘gate’ How many Woodwards and Bernsteins operate in the modern era at a regional level, calling local governments to account is something Ms James is greatly concerned about. With the local press now dwindling at a worrying rate, there are precious few journalists able to give their time to investigate councils and governments, because too many are sourcing clickbait. “It’s absolutely true,” Ms James said.“A big part of local democracy accountability is through the local press, whatever form that takes. “Papers are having to let people go at a pace, they now have two or three people producing what was once done by 20 or more. “They don’t have time to investigate. Simple reporting of council meetings is fine, but it’s having that time to investigate is where accountability comes from.”

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Ms James comes from a swing seat in Stourbridge where the local council has a 50-50 split of Labour and Conservative councillors, so it has natural accountability with one side casting a critical eye over the other. Move next door to Sandwell and it’s a completely different story, as all 72 councillors serving the authority are from the Labour Party. And that’s where the local press come in and do vital work in ensuring the democracy is upheld. The government's independent Cairncross Review has looked into how high quality journalism is maintained, in an era where most are looking at clickbait. The introduction of centrally-funded local democracy reporters has been designed to help maintain that critical eye, but Ms James fears that the moves may not have happened in time. “It’s so important, especially in the areas of the country where it is so safe for one party or the other,” Ms James added. “In my constituency, one of the nearby councils has had a 90 per cent Labour council for decades and there are those in other parts of the country that are the other way around. “Either way, it’s a bad thing for democracy, because nobody is holding them to account.” “We are coming at the problem from a number of perspectives. In terms of the protection of publishers, on and offline, we have set up the Cairncross Review. “That will lead to support for more quality content and the BBC democracy reporting service is helping too. “There was also a recommendation to get the competition and market authority to look into the digital advertising market, to get a fairer share of the rewards dealt out to publishers. “My hope is that we can act in time, because the erosion of the traditional publishing industry and local news reporting and local papers is carrying on apace. “And it is a challenge to keep up with these developments, and that is my one worry that by the time we get it right it may be too late.” Here at Punchline we are bucking the trend of most regional publications because we are produced in Gloucestershire for Gloucestershire businesses by Gloucestershire-based journalists.

Our team of 10 staff have in their number reporters with decades of press and media experience between them. We have invested in our staff because it is the only way to get the best product to our readers. We pride ourselves on our informative and entertaining content – and never resorting to clickbait to meet a target set by a finance man at a national head office. Unfortunately, we are the exception l

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Cotswold golfing legend

Several men are in the locker room of a golf club. A mobile phone on a bench rings and a man engages the hands-free speaker function and begins to talk. Everyone else in the room stops to listen. MAN: “Hello” WOMAN: “Hi Honey, it’s me. Are you at the club?” MAN: “Yes.” WOMAN:“I’m at the shops now and found this beautiful leather coat. It’s only £2,000; is it OK if I buy it?” MAN: “Sure, go ahead if you like it that much.” WOMAN: “I also stopped by the Lexus dealership and saw the new models. I saw one I really liked.”

MAN: “OK, but for that price I want it with all the options.” WOMAN: “Great! Oh, and one more thing… I was just talking to Janie and found out that the house I wanted last year is back on the market.They’re asking £980,000 for it.” MAN: “Well, then go ahead and make an offer of £900,000. They’ll probably take it. If not, we can go the extra eighty-thousand if it’s what you really want.” WOMAN: “OK. I’ll see you later! I love you so much!” MAN: “Bye! I love you, too.” The man hangs up. The other men in the locker room are staring at him in astonishment, mouths wide open. He turns and asks, “Anyone know who’s phone this is....?" l

MAN: “How much?” WOMAN: “£90,000.”

Book a special and memorable Christmas party.... It’s time to celebrate Christmas in Cheltenham in 2019

We look forward to hosting your festive lunch, dinner or evening reception at Cheltenham Town Hall, the Pittville Pump Room, or the Wilson Art Gallery and Museum. Enjoy sumptuous Christmas menus and partying the night away! T: 01242 387409 E:

14 | July 2019 | www. punchline-gloucester .com TCT005 Xmas ad 128 x 90mm V2.indd 1

11/07/2019 13:20

Laurie Bell, Cheltenham Trust CEO

Trust in change From the eye of a post Novichok media storm to protecting and enhancing Cheltenham’s leisure and cultural assets.

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OnMarch 4 2018,when the city of Salisbury was rocked by news of the Novichok nerve agent poisoning, Laurie Bell’s life changed. Admittedly, she was not affected as dramatically as Sergei Skripal, a former Russian military officer, and his daughter,Yulia.As targets of the attack, their lives hung in the balance. But the incident began a transformational year for Laurie Bell, Wiltshire Council’s director of communities and communications. Overnight she became the go-to person for a world- wide media eager to keep abreast of the story. Days began with briefings with the Cabinet Office, as she managed a team handling the communications messages 24 hours a day. As the recklessness of the attack became apparent and Russia meddled, the realisation of the potential effect on the lives of hundreds of residents dawned. And that’s not to mention the challenge of organising and hosting visits of support from the PM Theresa May, several government ministers, HRH Prince Charles and the Duchess of Cornwall and foreign dignitaries. Having been with the council since its formation in 2009, she found herself hungry for a fresh challenge. Fast-forward to today, she is Cheltenham Trust’s chief executive officer, in the role since April this year. Having immersed herself in the operation before any decision making, like any good incoming CEO, she is now talking about the plans for the £4 million-plus turnover 350-employee and volunteer-strong organisation. Set up in 2014, the Trust manages the spa town’s “£300 million iconic cultural and leisure sites”, or in other words TheWilson Art Gallery and Museum, Cheltenham Town Hall, Pittville Pump Room, Leisure@Cheltenham and the 2,000 capacity Prince ofWales Stadium - assets under increasing financial pressure. “The Trust has probably not run as much as a business as it could have. One of the things I had to do in Wiltshire was look at making all community facilities self-sufficient,” said Ms Bell, who at Wiltshire Council had managed a portfolio of council facilities facing the familiar fiscal pressures. “In five years’ time I would like to see what the Trust offers as demand-based, and becoming more self- sufficient. There is a huge opportunity to forge new partnerships.” As you might expect from someone whose

Cheltenham Town Hall

communication skills were honed in the aforementioned international political and social crisis, she speaks clearly, with authority and infectious enthusiasm - not in a way which threatens to scatter her audience to the hills. She will need to continue in that vein to take the 150 full and part time staff on the Trust’s payroll with her, and, just as importantly, the 200 volunteers vital to it achieving its ends. “I would like to double that number. Quite often they bring something else to the table. The Friends of the Wilson are brilliant,” she said. “I would also like to get into apprenticeships as well.We do not do that at the moment.” Ideas are bubbling away, but distil down to her helping the town make more of what it has. Few corners of the Trust’s operation appear to have avoided her forensic examination. “We have the original tram that ran on rails along The Prom in a depot. It has been there for 27 years. The cost of storing it could have paid to restore it and do something with it,” she added. “And then there is the Town Hall stage. There are no wings, which means it cannot host, for example, proper ballet. Why can’t we look at that, perhaps getting a business to help and lend its name to the new stage? I am not against ideas like that.” Her LinkedIn profile describes her as being “practiced in stakeholder and partnership working, including contract management. Event director for a number of large, prestigious events. Experienced in community and stakeholder engagement and reviewing

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Laurie Bell will be adding momentum to a direction of travel already set by the trust, if the words of its last annual report at the end of 2018 are anything to go by. Working relationships already exist with the likes of Cheltenham Festivals and the Everyman Theatre, through a Culture Board aiming to develop the town's cultural life. And it is working with the borough council on the development of the Town Hall to – in its own words - “re-imagine how the venue could be used by a 21st century audience”. Praising the people of Cheltenham, the volunteers and staff in its annual report, chairman of the board and businessman Peter Harkness, acknowledged the trust needed to “contribute even more in future” in order to endure. “Cheltenham continues to punch above its weight in art, culture and lifestyle.” The trust was established to advance and support education, culture, arts and heritage. More than 20 sports clubs partner with the trust. Funding has also come from the likes of theArts Council England, Heritage Lottery Fund and Sport England. Total income last year was £6.1 million - £4.6 million of which came from operations, was marked as £900,000 management fees, £200,000 was a refund from LGPS (Local Government Pension Scheme) and the borough council and £300,000 was grant and donations. The bigger picture is a really good and different space.” Currently, she says, the town has lots of great events going on led by highly able teams, but she believes closer working relationships would bear still more fruit. “I have met with the festivals, the council and with Kevin Blackadder from the BID. By coming together we can work out how we can all benefit and all add value and benefit everyone,” she says l For more information visit or phone 01242 774 401

transforming services.” A perfect CV for the role, you would think. “I need to make the Trust more commercial and a bigger part of the community. It is an interesting dilemma,” she said. “Turnover is about £4.6 million at the moment. It projects a small profit, but anything it makes goes back into the Trust. “Take the Pittville Pump Room and our other venues for weddings – these are our main high commercial income generators, but that does not mean we cannot do a lot more.” Its last set of accounts show total income last year was £6.1 million, with the £4.6 million coming from “operations”, the rest from management fees, a £200,000 refund from the local government pension scheme and the borough council and £300,000 of grants and donations. Peter Harkness, its chairman and a businessman in his own right, has acknowledged the Trust needed to “contribute even more in future” in order to endure. Plans involve building on working relationships with the likes of Cheltenham Festivals and Cheltenham BID. Another key target is business. “Businesses often need to do something a bit different, if they want a product launch to showcase themselves and set themselves apart, we can offer them some fantastic venues. “For example, there is a third floor roof terrace at the Wilson Gallery. We hosted an AGM only last week. It

TheWilson Cheltenham Art Gallery & Museum

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Peter Berry and Jamie Swan from Beacon Consultants Services

Does your business need to be shown the way on data protection?

A pair of Gloucester-based entrepreneurs are hoping to show the small businesses of the South West the way when it comes to data protection. Friends and business partners Jamie Swan and Peter Berry have created Beacon Consultant Services, after spotting a gap in the market in the region for giving advice on companies being data compliant. “We launched Beacon to try and help local businesses in the South West,” Mr Swan said. “A lot of SMEs don’t understand what is needed to be compliant. “Being compliant is not just about satisfying the regulations and ensuring that you aren’t fined by the information commissioner, it’s about doing it because it’s the right thing to do.” Beacon offers a range of services from consultations on what companies need to do to become – and more importantly remain – compliant, to being an outsourced A wife was becoming concerned because her husband was more than four hours late returning home after his regular Saturday afternoon game of golf.When he finally pulled into the driveway, she rushed out to greet him. ‘Where the hell have you been?’ she asked. The Cotswold Business Golfer

data protection officer for an SME, as well as delivering training to businesses on a range of data protection topics. They want to focus on offering those services to businesses in and around Gloucestershire, after spotting a gap in the market that is increasingly London-centric. “We want to appeal to new companies who want to get off on the right foot, so we help them understand any gaps in their data protection requirements, then work with them to fix them, offering ongoing support when they need it” Mr Berry added. “Technology is improving at such a pace, that means that more and more data is being created and stored and that needs to be looked after in the right way. “It can be a data minefield and we’re here to protect companies and ensure their businesses are safe” l For more information on Beacon Consultant Services visit or call 01452 679529

‘Andy had a heart attack on the third hole,’ he replied. ‘Oh, that’s terrible.’ ‘I know. All day long it was hit the ball, drag Andy, hit the ball, drag Andy…’ l

18 | July 2019 | www. punchline-gloucester .com

Growing Gloucestershire Conference 2019 Sustainability – Connectivity – Technology Tuesday, October 15 • Pittville Pump Rooms

Sustainability, Connectivity and Technology will be the themes of the 2019 Growing Gloucestershire Conference. A fixture in the business calendar for the past 15 years, the conference provides a platform for business professionals to come together for a day of networking. There is also a chance to learn from industry heavyweights and key players in the county’s business community in a lively atmosphere that make the conference a must-attend event. This year’s Growing Gloucestershire Conference takes place at Pittville Pump Rooms on Tuesday, October 15 , with a packed day of talks, seminars and networking opportunities running from 8.15am through to 3pm. Sustainability will look at how to build a business that thrives and grows as well as environmental and social sustainability. Technology – on the impact of changes in technology on your business and how to harness these. Connectivity is the critical third component to success – between businesses, networks and along the value chain. The first key-note speaker has already been confirmed with Peter Cheese, CEO of the Chartered Institute of Professional Development booked in for the opening slot. Other speakers will be confirmed in due course, but all will focus around the three key areas of sustainability, connectivity and technology. Growing Gloucestershire is the result of collaboration between a number of professional institutes, all of whom are members of Gloucestershire Professionals.

Since inception 15 years ago, the Conference has gained a reputation as a must-attend event in the Gloucestershire business calendar. The fast pace and energetic nature of the day allows all the attendees to gain insight and knowledge on areas that will be crucial to the success of their enterprises. Conference chairman Jonathan Nicholls said:“The more we connect and work together, the better for all of us and the better for our communities. “Research has shown that to survive in our rapidly changing world we need to be expert in our field and know a little bit about everything else.This is called the ‘T’. “The intention of the conference is to provide the crossbar to the ‘T’.That is to provide attendees with the opportunity to broaden their knowledge in areas that are not their core areas. “Business is all about people and what Growing Gloucestershire does is put like-minded people together and gives them the chance to broaden and share their knowledge.” Tickets for the Growing Gloucestershire Conference are now available. The first 30 tickets are available at the early-bird rate of £47. The standard price is £67 Tickets are available from The website will also be updated regularly when the other key-note speakers are confirmed and with the full programme of seminars and events l

July 2019 | www. punchline-gloucester .com | 19


Railway Triangle


Kings Quarter

Greater Blackfriar

Giving new drive and impetus to a historic city that appeared tired and somewhat lacklustre was a huge task. But there was a buzz of excitement when the Gloucester Heritage Urban Regeneration Company (GHURC) was officially launched at both the Houses of Parliament and Gloucester Cathedral in October, 2006. No one doubted the massive amount of work needed to turn around a proud city that had somehow lost its way in a maze of drab and derelict dockside buildings. But the GHURC, with its skilled and able chief executive Chris Oldershaw at the helm set about giving new vision to Gloucester and winning over city folk who soon realised this was not a false dawn – Gloucester How Gloucesterwas given new

Thinking of investing in Gloucester City?

20 | July 2019 | www. punchline-gloucester .com

Canal Corridor

Gloucester Quays

Gloucester Docks

vision and enterprise

really was on the up. The blueprint for Gloucester’s renaissance was the Magnificent Seven – the key areas of the city where regeneration would breathe fresh life into Gloucester. As our aerial view of the Magnificent Seven taken in 2009 shows, the blueprint was ambitious and comprehensive.

In our special report, we look at how Gloucester’s renaissance progressed and continues to take shape - long after the demise of the GHURC, whose role has now been taken over by Gloucester City Council. There have been successes and a few failures. But Gloucester’s rebirth continues at a pace l

Call us on 01452 396838 • •

July 2019 | www. punchline-gloucester .com | 21


The campaign to make Gloucester magnificent again

The renaissance of Gloucester has been a major turning point in the long and distinguished history of the city. And the Docks was always going to be at the heart of Gloucester’s regeneration. When Gloucester Heritage Urban Regeneration Company (GHURC) was set up in 2005, one of its key objectives was the repair and re-use of 83 buildings listed as historically important, with 36 on the “at risk” register. New uses needed to be found for around 100 hectares of brownfield land. GHURC was also tasked with helping to address the wider social and economic problems in the city. At that time, Gloucester had the second highest crime rate in the South West, with economic activity lower than the county average and the unemployment rate higher. Almost a third of people living in the GHURC area had no recognised skills or qualifications. Much credit for the formation of the GHURC must go to former Gloucester MP Parmjit Dhanda, who lobbied the then Prime Minister Tony Blair for his support. The sitting Gloucester MP Richard Graham has continued to drive regeneration. The GHURC - the 16th URC to be established in the country – had a range of targets. These included: The creation of 2,000 jobs Some 30,000 sq metres of retail floorspace Around 15,000 sq metres of commercial floorspace Some 3,000 new homes Attracting £1 billion of private investment Consultants Terence O’Rourke produced the area

regeneration framework which identified the key development sites – the Magnificent Seven. These are:

Greater Blackfriars Gloucester Docks Gloucester Quays Greyfriars King’s Quarter Railway Triangle Canal Corridor

Just a few years after the creation of the GHURC, the UK found itself in the global recession of 2007-08 and business was badly hit. Despite this, it managed to maintain the momentum of regeneration in the city. It was chaired by Dr Greg Smith, who was then principal and chief executive of Gloucestershire College. He demonstrated tremendous skill in bringing together many diverse groups with varying interests in the regeneration. He worked hard to ensure everyone was on board and was also adept at managing egos. Greg Smith’s vision led to the demolition of the run- down Gloucestershire College in Brunswick Road and the relocation of the college to the Docks in a state- of-the-art waterside building. He was ably assisted by GHURC vice-chair and former Gloucester Citizen editor, Ian Mean, whose no-nonsense approach, passion for business and drive to get things done would prove invaluable. By the time the GHURC was wound up in March 2013, it had attracted some £600 million of investment in Gloucester over its lifetime. In our special report we return to the Magnificent Seven sites and see how they have progressed l

22 | July 2019 | www. punchline-gloucester .com

How progress was being made with the Magnificent Seven in 2013

Key n Completed or on-site n Permitted in outline or in planning n Masterplans agreed This diagram shows the sweep of land across the city that GHURC has been actively involved in, with the darker the colour shown, the further the regeneration has progressed; the ‘Magnificent Seven’ areas concentrations of delivery in the Quays and Docks, as well as at St Oswalds, in the Canal Corridor, and at the south-west by-pass. Other central sites – Greyfriars and Blackfriars – are on the verge of significant transformation. are outlined in grey. This overview reveals


Dereliction at Gloucester Docks in 2005 before regeneration began

July 2019 | www. punchline-gloucester .com | 23


The Magnificent Seven #1 Gloucester Quays

When it comes to the regeneration of Gloucester, there is no doubt that Gloucester Quays is the jewel in the crown. The completion in September 2007 of Gloucestershire College’s new canalside campus signalled the start of the area’s renaissance. And a 25 hectare area of derelict and grim buildings was transformed, when the designer outlet centre at Gloucester Quays was officially opened by TV personality and fashion consultant GokWan in 2009. Developers Peel continue to invest heavily in the waterside location that has become a mecca for leading

brands, restaurants and bars. Now celebrating its tenth anniversary, the Quays has been the catalyst for the regeneration of the area, with a new 29,000 sq ft Next store at St Ann Way having opened nearby earlier this year. It is part of the £14 million investment Peel Holdings is making in Gloucester Retail Park (formerly the Peel Centre) next to the Quays. In fact, wherever you look around the area, it appears something is being built. The £141 million regeneration of Bakers Quay is progressing well, with the completion of a 104-bedroom Premier Inn Hotel, a drive through Costa Coffee,

Sales grew by ten per cent in 2018-19 at Gloucester Quays


The name trusted in commercial property OFFICES | INDUSTRIAL | AGRICULTURAL | RETAIL | HOSPITALITY

24 | July 2019 | www. punchline-gloucester .com

The Quays site was a mass of old sheds and rusty roof tops in 2004 before the redevelopment began


Rokeby Developments have planning permission to turn the building into 88 apartments and 11,000 square feet of shared office space. The adjacent listed Transit Shed will be converted into a 3,500 sqft restaurant and terrace overlooking the canal new visitor moorings. It is anticipated that work will be complete in summer 2020. And Crest Nicholson's 400-plus new Waterfront homes development to the south of Sainsbury's on the west side of the Gloucester to Sharpness Canal is progressing well. McCarthy and Stone's 80-plus apartment development next to the canal will help complete the jigsaw. As a major designer outlet centre, Gloucester Quays has gone from strength to strength as an experience-led retail and leisure destination since it opened in May 2009. The Quays now attracts 7 million visitors each year and continues to see a growth in sales with a 10% increase in 2018/19.

Jason Pullen - The Quays is a destination that Gloucester can be rightly proud of

Beefeater restaurant and hundreds of flats overlooking the canal. More recently, scaffolding went up alongside the derelict Malthouse - the largest building in the Quays - ahead of the complete overhaul of the building.

01452 222340 8-12 Clarence Street, Gloucester GL1 1DZ

July 2019 | www. punchline-gloucester .com | 25


Events such as the BeachWeekend have helped to put Gloucester Quays on the map for visitors

Following a ten-year regeneration and investment programme by Peel L&P, the development has seen the waterfront transformed with the introduction of premium outlet shopping brands, a new cinema, bars, cafes, restaurants, plus the introduction of award- winning events and entertainment, such as the hugely successful Food Festival. Peel’s Lifestyle Outlets has created 3,500 jobs in the city, which has helped to bring the historic Docks back to life. Gloucester Quays opened with 30 stores and, despite the recession, expanded into one of the UK’s most successful retail outlet centres. A decade on, with the UK’s retail market enduring a period of sustained

decline, it continues to defy the national trend with 316,000 sq ft of outlet space occupied by tenants including Hugo Boss, Adidas,Wagamama, JackWills, Ted Baker, All Saints and Joules. Annual footfall has increased from 1.5 million on opening to 7 million, as Lifestyle Outlets' unique mix of retail, leisure and events have established Gloucester Quays as a visitor destination, whilst at the same time serving the needs of the local residents, students and office workers. Jason Pullen, managing director, Lifestyle Outlets, is justifiably proud of what has been achieved at the Quays. He said: “Gloucester Quays is thriving. People are

26 | July 2019 | www. punchline-gloucester .com

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