See all updated Government COVID-19 business requirements here.

UPDATE: 5 April 2021

The Prime Minister announced today that lockdown will ease as planned next week, and non-essential retail, outdoor hospitality, gyms and hairdressers will reopen on Monday 12 April.

If your businesses need any help or support, please get in touch or visit our dedicated support page.

UPDATE: 29 March 2021

From today, you can meet with people outdoors in groups of 6 people or 2 households, including in private gardens. Outdoor sports facilities can open, like tennis or basketball courts and open air swimming pools. Parent and child groups can take place outdoors in public spaces.

UPDATE: 8 March 2021

People can now leave home for recreation and exercise outdoors with their household or support bubble, if they are eligible for one, or with one person from outside their household.

UPDATE: 21 February 2021

Today, the Prime Minister announced the planned steps to cautiously ease lockdown restrictions in the coming months, subject to review. You can read more here.

UPDATE: 5 January 2021

Following last night’s announcement, we are now in a national lockdown due to a rapid rise in infections. The Prime Minister has instructed people to stay at home to control the virus, protect the NHS and save lives. The lockdown is expected to last until the middle of February if the situation in hospitals improves.

In terms of business support, Chancellor Rishi Sunak has announced new grants to assist businesses in retail, hospitality and leisure. We will publicise the details of these new grants when we receive more information.

You can still support Cheltenham businesses during this period. Essential services remain open, including food shops, pharmacies, off-licenses, repair services, banks, post offices, car parks, building societies, laundrettes and dry cleaners, mobility and disability support shops and medical and dental services.

Many food, beverage and non-essential retail are also offering takeaway, delivery or click and collect services. We will be posting details on our OurChelt channels over the coming days.

Full details of what you can and cannot do are here: https://www.gov.uk/guidance/national-lockdown-stay-at-home

UPDATE: 30 December 2020

Gloucestershire is being placed in Tier 4 from tomorrow (Thursday 31 December), meaning non-essential shops, hairdressers, leisure and entertainment venues must close due to rising case numbers. Please stay at home.

Read the rules here: https://www.gov.uk/guidance/tier-4-stay-at-home

UPDATE: 23 December 2020

Cheltenham will be placed in Tier 3 at 00.01 on Boxing Day. This means that shops, gyms and hairdressers can remain open, but restaurants, pubs and cafes can only offer delivery and takeaway. For more details, visit: https://www.gov.uk/guidance/tier-3-very-high-alert

UPDATE: 17 December 2020

Following the government’s national review, it has been announced that Gloucestershire will be staying in Tier 2, with the next review due on Wednesday 30 December. See below for a reminder of what this means for Cheltenham and its businesses.

UPDATE: 2 December 2020

From today (Wednesday 2 December), Cheltenham is under Tier 2 restrictions. This means:

– Non-essential shops, hotels, theatres, attractions, gyms and personal care services (hairdressers etc.) can open.

– Hospitality businesses, such as pubs, restaurants and bars (only those serving *substantial table meals, alcohol can be served with that meal), can operate until 11pm with table service only. Last orders must be made by 10pm. *A “table meal” is a meal that might be expected to be served as breakfast, the main midday or main evening meal, or as a main course at such a meal (i.e. substantial by nature).

– Collective worship, weddings and outdoor sports can resume.

– You can meet people in public outdoor places such as Cheltenham’s parks and gardens but you must stick to the rule of six.

– People are being encouraged to minimise travel and work from home where possible.

– Spectators can attend organised sports events with 50% of capacity or 2,000 spectators, whichever is smaller. Cheltenham Racecourse will able to welcome a limited number of racegoers for The International mid-December and the New Year’s Day racing and Cheltenham Town Football Club will also welcome some fans.  

– Non-essential foreign travel is allowed, subject to quarantine rules.

– Unfortunately, with tier 2 restrictions in place, meeting inside will still not be allowed under any circumstances, other than for those in a support bubble. Nightclubs must also remain closed. 

– Regular, good handwashing, wearing a face covering and keeping two meters apart continues to be essential steps for everyone to follow.

For more information on the new tier systems and the specific restrictions that will apply across Gloucestershire visit https://www.gov.uk.

For consumer information, Visit Cheltenham have put together a guide to visiting Cheltenham that includes details of Christmas opening hours and town centre parking and travel. Please click here to be taken to their site.

Discretionary Business Grant Scheme

Cheltenham Borough Council have now announced details of their local grant scheme for businesses affected by lockdown. For details and to apply, click here. The deadline for applications is midnight on Wednesday 9 December.

Wet-led pubs

For pubs that predominantly serve alcohol, Prime Minister Boris Johnson announced on Tuesday 1 December that an additional £1,000 Christmas grant for ‘wet-led pubs’ in tiers 2 and 3 will be available for those who will miss out on much-needed business during the busy Christmas period. Read more here.

UPDATE: 17 November 2020

Grants to support businesses affected by COVID-19-

Businesses that have been unable to reopen since 23 March 2020

The government is providing funding to help business properties which have been unable to reopen since 23 March 2020 due to national restrictions, for example nightclubs. Such businesses will be able to apply for a grant payment to cover the period 1-4 November 2020, prior to the national lockdown on 5 November. From 5 November 2020, these businesses will be eligible for a national business support grant as below.

Business support grants for business ratepayers forced to close from 5 November 2020 (national scheme)

The government has put in place a grant scheme for businesses that have been forced to close due to the national restrictions from 5 November 2020.

Grants are based on the rateable value of the property and will be paid per 28-day qualifying restriction period.

To be eligible for this grant, your business property must fall under one of the categories on the government’s list of businesses forced to close. Please note that if the majority of your business has been forced to close but you are operating a takeaway or click and collect service, you may still be eligible for a grant. However businesses that have chosen to close but have not been required to will not be eligible for this grant and should not apply. 

The government has also issued this advice for businesses:

Check if your business is eligible for a coronavirus grant due to national restrictions (for closed businesses)
 

How to apply

The link below contains the application form to apply for a grant. The form will capture the information required by the council to verify and make payment of the grant to your business.

To apply for this grant you will need:

What happens next?

All applications will be validated and a decision made as to whether the business is eligible for a grant and how much is payable. Payment will be made by BACS to the nominated bank account after the payment has been approved.

Please only complete this application form if the business has been forced to close, you have a Business Rates account number and are currently liable for Business Rates.

Local Restriction Support Grants application form

The Government will not accept deliberate manipulation and fraud and any business caught falsifying their statements or evidence to gain grant money will face prosecution and any funding issued will be subject to claw back, as may any grants paid in error.

Discretionary business support grants

Cheltenham Borough Council are currently working on the policy and the application form for these discretionary grants which will be available soon

State Aid

The amended Temporary Framework enables EU Member States to give up to the nominal value of

€800,000 per company. This can be combined also with so-called de minimis aid (to bring the aid per company to up to €1 million) and with other specific types of aid. Any business that has reached the limits of payments permissible under the De Minimis and the UK Covid-19 Temporary State Aid Framework will not be able to receive further grant funding.

UPDATE: 6 November 2020

Retailers offering a Click and Collect service -Non-essential retail venues can continue to be able to operate click-and-collect (where goods are pre-ordered and collected off the premises) and delivery services. A purchaser can pick up a product from the retailers door or the retailer can take the product to the purchaser’s car but cannot enter inside the premises at ANY point.

Updated: 2 November 2020

From Thursday 5 November until Wednesday 2 December, the Government is taking the following action:

See financial support available and full new national restrictions information.

These new measures have been carefully judged to achieve the maximum reduction in growth in the number of cases, preventing the NHS from being overwhelmed, whilst ensuring that schools, colleges and universities stay open and that as many people as possible continue to work.

Until Thursday 5 November, the relevant Local Covid Alert Level measures will continue to apply in the area where you live. From Thursday the national restrictions replace the local restrictions in your area. No new areas will move in the LCAL Very High restrictions between now and Thursday.

The new measures will apply nationally for four weeks up to Wednesday 2 December. At the end of the period, we will look to return to a regional approach, based on the latest data.

Complying with the new measures will help limit the spread of coronavirus, reduce the impact on the NHS and save lives. They will be underpinned by law which will make clear about what you must and must not do from 5 November. The relevant authorities, including the police, will have powers to enforce the law – including through fines and dispersing gatherings.

Protect your loved ones. Download the App.

Please download the NHS App to keep updated on the latest guidance from Thursday 5 November

Updated 29 September
These Regulations came into force today (28 September 2020) to place the following additional requirement on businesses:
 Requirements relating to stopping singing and dancing (subject to exemptions):
The Regulation:

A person responsible for carrying on a business of a public house, café, restaurant or bar (including a bar in a hotel or members’ club) must, during the emergency period, take all reasonable measures to stop—
(a) singing on the premises by customers in groups of more than six; or
(b) dancing on the premises by customers.
 
The above does not apply in relation to dancing—
(a) at a wedding ceremony or wedding reception by the couple to whom the wedding relates; or
(b) at a civil partnership ceremony or reception following a civil partnership ceremony by the couple to whom the civil partnership ceremony relates.

 
Requirements relating to not play music which exceeds 85db:
The Regulation:

“A person responsible for carrying on a business of a public house, café, restaurant or bar (including a bar in a hotel or members’ club) must, during the emergency period, ensure that no music is played on the premises which exceeds 85db(A) when measured at the source of the music.”
Requirements relating to signage and information
A requirement on persons responsible for a business in a relevant area*. That requirement is either to display a notice at the relevant area informing persons on the premises of the requirement to wear a face covering unless an exemption applies or the person has a reasonable excuse not to wear a face covering, or to take other measures to ensure that persons entering the premises are so informed.
 
A contravention of this requirement is an offence, punishable by a fine or by way of a fixed penalty of up to £10,000.
 
The Regulation:

A responsible person must, during the emergency period—
(a) display a notice providing the information in paragraph (2); or
(b) take other measures to ensure that any person who enters the relevant area without wearing a face covering is given the information specified in paragraph (4).
 
(2) The information referred to in paragraph (1)(a) is that any person present at the relevant area is required to wear a face covering under the Health Protection (Coronavirus, Wearing of Face Coverings in a Relevant Place) Regulations 2020 unless an exemption under those Regulations applies to the person or the person has a reasonable excuse under those Regulations not to wear a face covering; and
 
(3) A notice under paragraph (1)(a) must be displayed in a conspicuous location at the relevant area
 
(4) The information to be given to the person under paragraph (1)(b) is that the person is required to wear a face covering unless an exemption applies to the person or the person has a reasonable excuse not to wear a face covering.


* “Relevant area” means any place where a person is required to wear a face covering under the Health Protection (Coronavirus, Wearing of Face Coverings in a Relevant Place) Regulations 2020;

Designated businesses and organisations, including hospitality, close contact services and leisure venues, will also be legally required to log details of customers, visitors and staff for NHS Track and Trace and from Thursday 24 September they will be required to display official NHS QR code posters under law ahead of the NHS COVID-19 app being rolled out nationally next week. Businesses will be expected to make sure their customers are aware of the rules around QR codes by displaying posters and speaking to customers directly.

Businesses required to display an NHS Track and Trace posters and request customers details-

(a)restaurants, including restaurants and dining rooms in hotels or members’ clubs;

(b)cafes, including workplace canteens;

(c)bars, including bars in hotels or members’ clubs;

(d)public houses.

Leisure and tourism services, provided by or at—

(a)amusement arcades;

(b)art fairs;

(c)betting and bingo halls;

(d)casinos;

(e)clubs providing team sporting activities;

(f)facilities for use by elite and professional sportspeople (including sports stadia);

(g)heritage locations and attractions open to the public (including castles, stately homes and other historic houses);

(h)hotels and other guest accommodation provided on a commercial basis, including in Bed & breakfast accommodation, boats, campsites, caravans, chalets, guest houses, holiday parks, hostels, motels, pubs, sleeper trains and yurts;

(i)indoor sport and leisure centres;

(j)outdoor swimming pools and lidos;

(k)museums and galleries;

(l)music recording studios open for public hire or other public use;

(m)public libraries.

3.  Close physical contact services, including those provided by—

(a)barbers;

(b)beauticians (including those providing cosmetic, aesthetic and wellness treatments);

(c)dress fitters, tailors and fashion designers;

(d)hairdressers;

(e)nail bars and salons;

(f)skin and body piercing services;

(g)sports and massage therapists;

(h)tattooists.

4.  Services provided for social, cultural and recreational purposes in the following premises—

(a)community centres;

(b)youth and community centres;

(c)village halls.

You should create and display a QR code if you are: a business, place of worship or community organisation with a physical location that is open to the publican event which is taking place in a physical location.

If you have more than one venue, you need to create a separate QR code for each location. You can add multiple locations in the service.

Use this service to create a QR code for display in your business venue. Get visitors to scan the QR code when they arrive, using the NHS COVID-19 app. This is to help trace and stop the spread of coronavirus (COVID-19).

A majority of businesses and organisations have been playing their part in tackling the virus by putting in place COVID-secure measures in their venues, but new legal requirements will make it compulsory for them to do so or risk facing a fine.

The regulations will be enforced by Local Authorities, who will have the power to issue fines of up to £1,000 for venues that are failing to comply, or the police as a last resort. Fines will rise to up to £4,000 for repeat offenders.

The Prime Minister announced further restrictions on 22 September affecting licensed businesses from Thursday 24 September.

The penalty for failing to wear a mask or breaking the rule of six will now double to £200 for a first offence.

Plans for the return of spectators to sporting events has been shelved and will now no longer go ahead as was planned from 1 October 2020.

18 September Hospitality venues in England are legally required to enforce the rule of 6 or face a fine of up to £4,000.

While the planned roadmap dates are still subject to review, all businesses, currently closed or not, share a joint ambition – to get back to business. Although some will be reopening before others, they all share a joint ambition – to get back to business.

Cheltenham BID wants to help with its Back to Business campaign. There are a wide variety of resources available ahead of reopening, and we have created a guide to point businesses of all kinds towards the best support.

We will update the page as the advice from the Government changes and more resources become available. If you need any other help, please contact info@cheltenhambid.co.uk. We will do our best to help solve your issue, and if we can’t, we will try to find someone who can.

During the periods of lockdown, social media has been the only way many businesses can interact with potential customers. This makes it a vital tool to increase brand awareness, online sales and footfall as restrictions lift.

However, we know that acquiring the knowledge to keep up with the opportunities available can be daunting and time-consuming, especially when business owners and managers already have so much on their plates.

We have compiled some top social media tips with the help of Maybe*, a market-leading engagement platform, that businesses can quickly and easily implement whether currently open or not.

Here are five simple things you can do to maximise your reach and engagement.

1. Keep talking to your customers

If you are currently unable to open, it is vitally important to continue talking to your customers by finding new ways to engage with them. You could post giveaways, behind the scenes snapshots, meet the team features, tutorials or throwback images. Great examples have been a Bridgerton hair tutorial from Mark Blake Hair or the activity sheets and recipes posted by Huffkins.

While posts such as these do not directly ask the user to make a purchase, they help nurture existing relationships while increasing brand awareness among potential customers. If you need inspiration, the Maybe* platform allows users to see what similar businesses are successfully posting across the country.

2. Join conversations

Social media isn’t just about the content you post, but the conversations you join. By commenting on, liking and sharing the content of other local businesses, users can make their own business more visible while sharing relevant products and services with their followers. Plus, the businesses you engage with will be more likely to share your content, meaning it will reach new audiences and potential customers. Maybe* makes this interaction easy by integrating posts from Facebook, Instagram, Twitter and LinkedIn into one feed, allowing you to quickly like, share or comment on the posts of those you follow.

3. Focus on the platforms that work best for you

The world of social media can be vast and intimidating, but don’t feel like you need to do it all. Use Maybe* to identify the platforms where your customers are most engaged and invest time in posting great content on that account. As humans have short attention spans, we also recommend using engaging visuals alongside your posts. Canva is a graphic design platform that allows you to create professional visuals quickly and easily for free. A paid version is also available with more usability and design features.

4. Use analytics

Data can tell you when to post for maximum engagement and what content works well with your audience. Providing the inside knowledge needed to adjust your social media strategy for maximum output, Maybe* tracks such insights and presents them using accessible visuals, even allowing you to match social media activity to online spend, offline spend and footfall. Using a piece of scheduling software such as Hootsuite also allows you to build a solid strategy by planning and scheduling your content in advance.

5. Brush up on your skills

Whether you are just beginning to dip your toes into social media management, are in dire need of a social makeover or just fancy streamlining your tactics and goals, Maybe* offers a range of training that can enhance your online strategy. This includes over 400 help articles, free webinars and one to one support.

Cheltenham BID is working with Marketing Cheltenham and Cheltenham Borough Council to offer businesses a free membership to the Maybe* platform. BID businesses can claim their free account by visiting www.https://www.maybetech.com/.

BID businesses can also get in touch with alex@cheltenhambid.co.uk for more advice and support with digital marketing.

In response to the sharp increase in contactless and online payments during the pandemic and resulting concerns surrounding fraud, there are new rules that businesses need to be prepared for.

As part of 2018’s EU Payments Services Directive (PSD2), Strong Customer Authentication (SCA) comes into place for UK businesses in September 2021. It is already enforced in the European Economic Area (EEA), but the UK deadline has been extended due to the impact of Covid-19 on merchants.

From Wednesday 15 September 2021, every online payment will need to use multi-factor authentication to meet new security standards and your customers may need to provide two forms of identification to their bank when completing online payments.

Authentication will be completed by providing two out of three of the following:

Please contact your bank or the company that provides your checkout services to ensure you will meet the new requirements by this date.

Many in-person transactions will also need to meet SCA standards. As customers may be asked to enter their PIN when making contactless payments, businesses should check with their banks to update their payment terminals if needed.

For more information, Visa have produced the following guides:

Detailed Guidance: https://cheltenhambid.co.uk/wp-content/uploads/2021/02/Detailed-Guidance.pdf

Checklist: Getting Ready for SCA: https://cheltenhambid.co.uk/wp-content/uploads/2021/02/Checklist-Getting-Ready-for-SCA.pdf

Infographic on Out of Scope and Exempt Transactions: https://cheltenhambid.co.uk/wp-content/uploads/2021/02/Infographic-on-Out-of-Scope-and-Exempt-Transactions-.pdf

Founded by MasterChef Champion Simon Wood, WoodKraft has certainly made an impact on Cheltenham’s food scene since it opened in December 2018. The restaurant is renowned for its brunch, lunch and Sunday roast menus delivered in its relaxed and informal setting on Regent Street.

Adapting quickly to each change in restrictions, WoodKraft has evolved to offer a takeaway service and At Home meal boxes, the latter of which can be delivered nationwide. BID Communications Assistant Alex Boulton spoke to James Kocerhan, WoodKraft’s General Manager, about why the Wood Restaurant Group chose Cheltenham, the pandemic and the importance of social media.

The restaurant’s location on Regent Street

Why did the Wood Restaurant Group decide to open in Cheltenham? How it is being based on Regent Street, known for its many great restaurants and cafes?

We opened our first restaurant in Manchester as that made sense with Simon being from Oldham. However, Wood is co-owned by Simon and Anna, who is from Gloucestershire, and we had always had aspirations to have another restaurant close to Anna’s roots. Cheltenham has always been a hub for independent and good quality restaurants, and we felt Regent Street was a perfect location for the type of food we wanted to create for WoodKraft. With its busy day time shopping, leisure and cultural scene, the town was a logical choice for us and Regent Street has been nothing short of a joy to operate from. Customers, neighbours and visitors are so friendly and have really welcomed our style of food and service. 

How have you adapted your services during the pandemic and how is it all going?

We adapted quickly and set about a home delivery service and reduced menu take out service in the first lockdown and that worked well for us. Re-opening in July with less covers and a different approach to service was a little more challenging, but we were thrilled at the support we received from our customers. 

This time around we have developed our Home Delivery offer even further and are pleased to be getting a great response. We are working closely with our Manchester restaurant to put together some exciting options for at-home dining, keeping it fresh and interesting mixing up our Wood fine dining and less formal WoodKraft menus to offer some real foodie weekend packages. We are also able to offer Nationwide delivery in partnership with DPD, which has been a major part of this being viable for us. 

WoodKraft’s At Home meal boxes, available for nationwide delivery

How important is social media to you as a business?

Social media is really important to us and is the main platform for us communicating to customers. Instagram, Facebook and Twitter all play their part, albeit to different audiences. We have probably seen it play an even more important role during the pandemic as it’s the main way people can connect at the moment.

WoodKraft is open for takeaway on Thursdays, Fridays and Saturdays, 9am-3pm. Call 01242 580585 to order by phone.

WoodKraft At Home meal boxes are available to order at https://appless.app/HGXXE6/DO8NUK

Local businesses in Cheltenham can now accelerate and streamline their use of social media by claiming their free membership to Maybe*, a market-leading engagement platform that helps organisations use social media to increase customer engagement, footfall and sales.

As the pandemic has underlined the importance of an effective online presence for any business, Cheltenham BID are working with Marketing Cheltenham and Cheltenham Borough Council to offer businesses a free membership to the platform.

Maybe* is one of the ten companies that form the Government’s High Street Task Force, providing data, expertise, knowledge, training and support to those involved in helping to regenerate town and city centres across the country.

Whether you are just beginning to dip your toes into social media management, are in dire need of a social makeover or just fancy streamlining your tactics and goals, there are many ways that using Maybe* can benefit your business. These include:

Ultimately for businesses already active on social media, Maybe* aims to provide the tools to help them become more effective while sharing their successes. For the businesses who are not already on online platforms, they provide the training and inspiration to help them get started.

Businesses in Cheltenham are invited to access their free Maybe* account which includes access to social media support, help articles and weekly demos and webinars. Sign up here: https://www.maybetech.com/

The Covid-19 crisis has underlined the importance of a good online presence for any business.
 
Sudden closures and openings, changes to the way we operate, letting people know what to expect, the necessity for online bookings and online sales – the list of ever-changing messages goes on and on. The only way to get those messages out effectively is online.
     
However, we are aware that acquiring the knowledge to keep up with the opportunities available can be daunting and time-consuming.
 
Cheltenham BID is working with Marketing Cheltenham and Cotswolds Tourism to place a renewed emphasis on digital literacy. As a BID business, we are asking you to complete a digital confidence survey so that we can identify areas where businesses feel they need help and then source relevant and tailor-made training.
 
We will seek to provide relevant resources whatever your proficiency. Even if you are completely confident in your online presence, the survey may still prompt some ideas or inspiration.
 
To complete the survey, click here.
 
For further information or if you have any questions, please get in touch.

Cheltenham would have been gearing up for the return of Light Up Cheltenham this weekend. The giant observation wheel would have been in place in Imperial Gardens. This time next week, many of Cheltenham’s stunning Regency buildings would have been bathed in coloured light.

However, due to the continuing threat of COVID-19 and present lockdown, Light Up Cheltenham cannot go ahead in 2021.

The event, launched by Cheltenham BID in 2018, has seen thousands of people come to town during what would normally be a very quiet time of the year. The annual event has grown and gone from strength to strength in recent years, becoming a firm favourite with local residents and those from further afield.

Spark!, the world-renowned street theatre drumming group, has kicked each year’s event off with a bang, while 2019 was the first year to host the popular Observation Wheel in Imperial Gardens. February 2020 saw over 30 buildings beautifully illuminated, attracting thousands of visitors to the town centre over three weeks.

Belinda Hunt, BID operations manager, said: “When we launched Light Up Cheltenham, we knew it would be popular and draw people into town during the hours of darkness throughout February. We wanted something that would appeal to a wide demographic and support the Night Time Economy businesses.

“We felt that the financial commitment to light up the town would not be a responsible use of levy-payer’s contributions, as the businesses the event is designed to benefit remain closed.”

Cheltenham BID continues to support town centre businesses in many ways, including remaining available to provide advice or answer queries, promote lockdown services across social media, tidy up the town centre and support the work of Visit Cheltenham and Cheltenham Borough Council.

Photography: Mikal Ludlow

Building on the success of last year’s Christmas marketing campaign and the new Cheltenham branding, Marketing Cheltenham have designed a campaign to encourage people to ‘think local’ this Christmas.

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 Develop Funding.

As part of the campaign, an online directory and gift guides have been created to highlight local retailers, festive experiences and the many local cafes and restaurants offering takeaways and delivery services. These guides can be found on the Visit Cheltenham website and social media channels, making it easy for the public to find something special for loved ones this Christmas.

There is also a new Facebook group, ‘Love Cheltenham – Supporting Local Businesses’ which has been created so people can find and order from businesses which otherwise might have struggled to compete with well-known online retailers.

If you would like to involve your business in the campaign, join and engage with the ‘Love Cheltenham – Supporting Local Businesses’ Facebook group, use the hashtags #ourchelt and #supportlocal with any social media posts and see visitcheltenham.com to find out more.

Thanks to an ongoing Partnership Agreement between Marketing Cheltenham and Cheltenham BID, BID levy payers are also entitled to a listing on the Visit Cheltenham website. If you are a BID business and need to create or update a Visit Cheltenham business listing, please contact alex@cheltenhambid.co.uk.

Restaurants, cafes and bars are also encouraged to share their festive dining packages via this link to appear in Visit Cheltenham’s Christmas guide.

Featured in the December 2020 newsletter.

Although the end of lockdown is good news for many of our businesses, we recognise that for some of you in the hospitality sector, being in Tier 2 is still going to be difficult, particularly at this time of year. 

Extended Hours

Our message to the public is that Cheltenham is a safe place to come and enjoy Christmas shopping and socialise within the restrictions of Tier 2. 

With the announcement by Communities Secretary Robert Jenrick that retailers will be able to extend their daily opening hours from Monday to Saturday in the run-up to Christmas and through January, it is hoped this extension will make socially distanced shopping easier and ease transport pressures.

We are encouraging all businesses to take advantage of this and have worked with Marketing Cheltenham to put together a guide.  If you haven’t already let us know what your opening hours are please email us at info@cheltenhambid.co.uk.

Please also submit your festive dining packages and events here for inclusion in Visit Cheltenham’s Christmas guide.

Featured in the December 2020 newsletter.

From today (Wednesday 2 December), Cheltenham is welcoming back locals and visitors after the second national lockdown as non-essential shops, restaurants, gyms, hotels and hair and beauty salons reopen under Tier 2 restrictions.

With its fantastic range of independent businesses, high-street favourites and vibrant food and entertainment scene, Cheltenham is a great place to eat, drink (with a substantial meal) and be merry this Christmas. Operating under social distancing requirements at reduced capacity, businesses across town promise an enjoyable and COVID19-secure experience, with many also offering virtual booking and queuing systems.

For more consumer information about visiting Cheltenham this Christmas, including travel and parking information and details of social distancing and hygiene measures, please browse Visit Cheltenham’s all-encompassing guide here.

Although the end of lockdown is good news for many of our businesses, the announcement is still hitting the hospitality sector hard as pubs and bars are unable to reopen unless operating as restaurants. Tier 2 also means it is not possible to meet other households inside, and the rule of six remains applicable both inside and outside. The tier system will be reviewed every two weeks from Wednesday 16 December.

Regular, good handwashing, wearing a face covering and keeping two meters apart continue to be essential steps for everyone to follow.

We would like to welcome back all of our BID businesses able to reopen and wish them a safe and successful Christmas trading period.

Information for businesses

Extended Hours

In a boost to the high street, Communities Secretary Robert Jenrick has announced that retailers will be able to extend their daily opening hours from Monday to Saturday in the run-up to Christmas and through January.

It is hoped this extension will make socially distanced shopping easier and ease transport pressures.

Many large stores across Cheltenham have already announced they are extending their Christmas opening hours, including John Lewis and Partners, House of Fraser, Primark, M&S and the Regent Arcade. For more details, click here.

If you haven’t already, please email info@cheltenhambid.co.uk to let us know if you are extending your regular opening hours this Christmas.

Details of local and national grants

For businesses forced to close from 5 November 2020, click here for details of the national scheme.

To apply for the Discretionary Business Grant Scheme from Cheltenham Borough Council, click here. The deadline for applications is midnight on Wednesday 9 December.

For pubs that predominantly serve alcohol, Prime Minister Boris Johnson announced yesterday (Tuesday 1 December) that an additional £1,000 Christmas grant for ‘wet-led pubs’ in tiers 2 and 3 will be available for those who will miss out on much-needed business during the busy Christmas period. Read more here.

Cheltenham’s new marketing campaign, led by the town’s marketing body, Marketing Cheltenham, alongside Cheltenham Business Improvement District (BID) and Cheltenham Borough Council, is calling on local residents and would-be visitors to support local businesses this Christmas.

The campaign aims to overcome the latest national lockdown by creating an online directory of shops and local businesses in Cheltenham and a series of gift guides that highlight local retailers, festive experiences and the many local cafes and restaurants offering takeaways and delivery services. These guides can be found on the Visit Cheltenham website and social media channels, making it easy for the public to find something special for loved ones this Christmas.

There is also a new Facebook group, ‘Love Cheltenham – Supporting Local Businesses’ which has been created so people can find and order from businesses which otherwise might have struggled to compete with well-known online retailers.

David Jackson, Manager of Marketing Cheltenham, said: “We’re really aware of just how challenging things are for the retail and hospitality sectors right now, so the Christmas trading period is more critical than ever this year, particularly for the many small, independent businesses we have in Cheltenham.”

Belinda Hunt, Operations Manager of Cheltenham BID, said: “Local businesses, both independent and people’s favourite national brands, have been innovative in the way they have changed their model to ensure their loyal customers can start their Christmas shopping. This campaign will support businesses by reminding local people that they are still there and offering a personal service which shoppers aren’t likely to experience with global online markets.”

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 Develop Funding.

If you would like to involve your business in the campaign, join and engage with the ‘Love Cheltenham – Supporting Local Businesses’ Facebook group, use the hashtags #ourchelt and #supportlocal with any social media posts and see visitcheltenham.com/christmas to find out more.

Thanks to an ongoing Partnership Agreement between Marketing Cheltenham and Cheltenham BID, BID levy payers are also entitled to a listing on the Visit Cheltenham website. If you are a BID business and need to create or update a Visit Cheltenham business listing, please contact alex@cheltenhambid.co.uk.

Cheltenham’s new marketing campaign, led by the town’s marketing body, Marketing Cheltenham, alongside Cheltenham Borough Council and Cheltenham Business Improvement District (BID), is calling on local residents and would-be visitors to support local businesses this Christmas.

The campaign aims to overcome the latest national lockdown by creating an online directory of shops and local businesses in Cheltenham and a series of gift guides that highlight local retailers, festive experiences and the many local cafes and restaurants offering takeaways and delivery services. These guides can be found on the Visit Cheltenham website and social media channels, making it easy to find something special for loved ones this Christmas.

There is also a new Facebook group, ‘Love Cheltenham – Supporting Local Businesses’ which has been created so people can find and order from businesses which otherwise might have struggled to compete with well-known online retailers.

David Jackson, Manager of Marketing Cheltenham, said: “We’re really aware of just how challenging things are for the retail and hospitality sectors right now, so the Christmas trading period is more critical than ever this year, particularly for the many small, independent businesses we have in Cheltenham.”

“Our Shop Local, Support Small campaign is our way of reminding people that, despite not being able to physically shop in the way we might like – at the moment at least – you can still support local businesses by buying or ordering from them online. The beauty of this too, of course, is that because we have so many wonderful independent businesses in Cheltenham, you’re more likely to find something different and truly individual that you simply won’t find anywhere else.”

Cllr Victoria Atherstone, Cabinet Member for Economy and Development, added: “The health and vitality of our high streets, not just in the town centre, but across the whole of Cheltenham play such an important role in supporting our local communities, particularly at this time of year. It’s fantastic therefore to see partners coming together to support local businesses through this campaign – and I’d encourage everyone to do what they can to shop local and support local businesses this year. One way to find out what you can buy and where visit the ‘Love Cheltenham – Supporting Local Businesses’ group on Facebook. ”

Belinda Hunt, Operations Manager of Cheltenham BID, said: “Local businesses, both independent and people’s favourite national brands, have been innovative in the way they have changed their model to ensure their loyal customers can start their Christmas shopping. This campaign will support businesses by reminding local people that they are still there and offering a personal service which shoppers aren’t likely to experience with global online markets.”

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 Develop Funding.

To find out more, see visitcheltenham.com/christmas

Businesses that have been unable to reopen since 23 March 2020 can now APPLY.

The government is providing funding to help business properties which have been unable to reopen since 23 March 2020 due to national restrictions, for example nightclubs. Such businesses will be able to apply for a grant payment to cover the period 1-4 November 2020, prior to the national lockdown on 5 November. From 5 November 2020, these businesses will be eligible for a national business support grant as below.

Business support grants for business ratepayers forced to close from 5 November 2020 (national scheme)

The government has put in place a grant scheme for businesses that have been forced to close due to the national restrictions from 5 November 2020.

Grants are based on the rateable value of the property and will be paid per 28-day qualifying restriction period.

To be eligible for this grant, your business property must fall under one of the categories on the government’s list of businesses forced to close. Please note that if the majority of your business has been forced to close but you are operating a takeaway or click and collect service, you may still be eligible for a grant. However businesses that have chosen to close but have not been required to will not be eligible for this grant and should not apply. 

The government has also issued this advice for businesses:

Check if your business is eligible for a coronavirus grant due to national restrictions (for closed businesses)
 

How to apply

The link below contains the application form to apply for a grant. The form will capture the information required by the council to verify and make payment of the grant to your business.

To apply for this grant you will need:

What happens next?

All applications will be validated and a decision made as to whether the business is eligible for a grant and how much is payable. Payment will be made by BACS to the nominated bank account after the payment has been approved.

Please only complete this application form if the business has been forced to close, you have a Business Rates account number and are currently liable for Business Rates.

Local Restriction Support Grants application form

The Government will not accept deliberate manipulation and fraud and any business caught falsifying their statements or evidence to gain grant money will face prosecution and any funding issued will be subject to claw back, as may any grants paid in error.

Discretionary business support grants

The government is also providing funding to local councils to provide extra support for businesses. Cheltenham Borough Council are looking at the best way they can use this funding to support businesses in the Cheltenham area that have been severely impacted and will publish details of the scheme and an on line application form once available.  

Cheltenham Borough Council are currently working on the policy and the application form for these discretionary grants which will be available soon

State Aid

The amended Temporary Framework enables EU Member States to give up to the nominal value of

€800,000 per company. This can be combined also with so-called de minimis aid (to bring the aid per company to up to €1 million) and with other specific types of aid. Any business that has reached the limits of payments permissible under the De Minimis and the UK Covid-19 Temporary State Aid Framework will not be able to receive further grant funding.

Updated: 2 November 2020

From Thursday 5 November until Wednesday 2 December, the Government is taking the following action:

UPDATE: Retailers offering a Click and Collect service -Non-essential retail venues can continue to be able to operate click-and-collect (where goods are pre-ordered and collected off the premises) and delivery services. A purchaser can pick up a product from the retailers door or the retailer can take the product to the purchaser’s car but cannot enter inside the premises at ANY point.

See financial support available and full new national restrictions information.

These new measures have been carefully judged to achieve the maximum reduction in growth in the number of cases, preventing the NHS from being overwhelmed, whilst ensuring that schools, colleges and universities stay open and that as many people as possible continue to work.

Until Thursday 5 November, the relevant Local Covid Alert Level measures will continue to apply in the area where you live. From Thursday the national restrictions replace the local restrictions in your area. No new areas will move in the LCAL Very High restrictions between now and Thursday.

The new measures will apply nationally for four weeks up to Wednesday 2 December. At the end of the period, we will look to return to a regional approach, based on the latest data.

Complying with the new measures will help limit the spread of coronavirus, reduce the impact on the NHS and save lives. They will be underpinned by law which will make clear about what you must and must not do from 5 November. The relevant authorities, including the police, will have powers to enforce the law – including through fines and dispersing gatherings.

Protect your loved ones. Download the App.

Please download the NHS App to keep updated on the latest guidance from Thursday 5 November

Completely new Christmas lights will be seen across the town centre from Tuesday November 24, brought to you by the BID and supported by Cheltenham Borough Council. There won’t be an official switch-on this year because of coronavirus pandemic restrictions but we’re confident the new look will be a major draw that will help all our businesses when they reopen after the national lockdown.

As well as the sparkle during the darker hours, the new Christmas lights will bring a gleam during the day.  Golden baubles will hang from the trees on the pedestrianised Promenade and gold powder-coated holly, reindeer, stars and harps will adorn the lampposts in other streets.  A new Christmas tree will be installed at the Montpellier roundabout.

Since the BID has been in operation, the lights have been extended to include The Strand, Cambray Place, Pittville Street, Clarence Parade, Regent Street and Winchcombe Street as well as The High Street and the new crossing between Boots and Primark is proving to be a popular spot for selfies. This is just one of the successful partnerships the BID has with Cheltenham Borough Council, without whose support we would not have been able to light up such a large area.

The BID would like to thank PDSA, High Street for assisting with The Strand’s ceiling of lights by supplying the electricity for the third year running.

Quick reference action cards are now available for Cheltenham BID businesses to use in the event of a coronavirus (COVID-19) outbreak.

The cards, developed by Joint Biosecurity Centre (JBC) and Public Health England, with contributions from local authorities and other partners, are available to download and keep-to-hand provide guidance for the beauty, construction, hospitality, manufacturing, retail and tourism sectors, and other workplace organisations and places of worship. Owners and managers will be able to quickly identify, report and respond to one or more confirmed cases of Covid-19 in their business, setting or organisation.

Cllr Andrew McKinlay, member for development and safety said: “These action cards will help businesses and organisations recognise, report and respond to an incident of Covid-19 to help keep Cheltenham safe. I’d urge businesses to download the relevant action card for their sector and to keep it to hand should they have an outbreak.”

Sarah Clark, public and environmental health team leader, continued: “High-quality, timely infection prevention and control advice is critical to help prevent the spread and contain the virus and we’ve been working closely with many businesses across different sectors to offer support and advice to become Covid secure.

“As restrictions have eased and in the event of an outbreak these downloadable action cards will help Cheltenham businesses and organisations quickly identify what they need to do, how to report it and the next steps to take. The cards also include signposting and other useful information should there be confirmed cases of Covid-19.”

The series of 16 cards give clear guidance on how individual settings can help control an outbreak by applying existing guidance on:

• social distancing

• sticking to the risk-assessed safe working advice

• cleaning hands regularly

• disinfecting objects, surfaces and common touch points; and

• groups in the workplace and minimising contacts outside of the household.

For more information visit www.cheltenham.gov.uk/coronavirus_actioncards

SMEs in Gloucestershire are set to benefit from new government funding to help them recover from the effects of the coronavirus pandemic, the Minister for Regional Growth and Local Government has today announced.

Small and medium sized businesses will have access to grants to help them access new technology and other equipment as well as professional, legal, financial or other advice to help them get back on track.

It comes on top of an unprecedented package of Government support to help businesses to recover, including the £2 billion Kickstart Scheme which will create hundreds of thousands of new, fully subsidised jobs for young people across the country, as well as £1.6 billion invested in scaling up employment support schemes, training and apprenticeships to help people looking for a job.

Minister for Regional Growth and Local Government, Simon Clarke MP said:

“We have always said that we would stand behind our businesses and communities as we rebuild following the coronavirus pandemic. This new funding does exactly that.

Businesses will be able to use these new grants to pay for the expertise, equipment and technology they need to adapt, recover and rebuild.

Small and medium sized businesses are the beating heart of communities; they provide employment and contribute significantly to local economies and we are determined to give them the support they need to continue to thrive.”

The support will be fully funded by the government from the England European Regional Development Fund and distributed through The Growth Hub.

Whilst the fund is not yet available for release to businesses, The Growth Hub are working closely with government and their local GFirst LEP to bring this to market as quickly as possible.

The Growth Hub are in the process of gathering the required evidence and process documentation that they will need to administer the grants in line with government policy and also clarifying the criteria against which grant decisions can be made. It is their intention to be able to start administering grants as soon as possible.

To be alerted when the applications open, leave your details on this simple form

Have you registered for the scheme?

You can use the Eat Out to Help Out Scheme to offer a discount to diners and encourage them to eat at your restaurant.

You can use the Eat Out to Help Out Scheme:

There is no limit to the number of times customers can use the offer during the period of the scheme. Your customers cannot get a discount for someone who is not eating or drinking.

Alcohol and service charges are excluded from the offer.

Registration closed on 31 August.


Who can register

You can register if your establishment:

You cannot register:

If your application is based on dishonest or inaccurate information, your registration will be revoked.


What you’ll need

To register, you must have:

You may also need your:

If you are registering 25 establishments or less, you must provide the details of each.


If you’re registering more than 25 establishments


If you’re registering more than 25 establishments that are part of the same business, you do not have to provide details for each one.

You should provide a link to a website which contains details of each establishment participating in the scheme including the trading name and address.

You may also need to provide a list to HMRC on request, with details of all participating establishments.


What happens next

You’ll be registered instantly and will receive a registration reference number – you’ll need this when you claim the reimbursement.

You can download promotional materials to help you promote the scheme and let your customers know that you’re taking part.

You’ll be added to a list of registered establishments that will be available to the public.

Businesses that have more than one establishment are encouraged to register all establishments that are eligible to offer the scheme. Once you have registered your business it may be possible to add new establishments, but you will have to contact HMRC again and this may delay the establishment being included in the scheme.

If you want to be removed from the list of registered establishments, you should contact HMRC who will remove you manually. This is not immediate, so you must tell customers that you are no longer offering the discount.


When you start offering the discount

You should wait until you’re registered before you offer discounts to your customers. You cannot offer discounts before 3 August.

When you register for the scheme, it is expected that you will offer it during the whole of your opening hours on all the eligible days that you are open and on all qualifying sales of food or drink.

If a customer purchases a meal with the intention of eating it but then takes it away and leaves the premises, you can still apply the discount.


Records you must keep

For each day you’re using the scheme, you must keep records of the:

If you are using the scheme for more than one establishment, you must keep these records for each.


Making a claim
You cannot claim yet. The service you’ll use to claim reimbursements will be available on 7 August 2020. The service will close on 30 September.

You must wait 7 days from registration to make your first claim. HMRC will pay eligible claims within 5 working days.

You will be able to submit claims on a weekly basis.

You’ll still need to pay VAT based on the full amount of your customers’ bills.

Any money you receive through the scheme will be treated as taxable income.

HMRC will provide more guidance on how to make a claim when the registration service is open.


Other help you can get

HMRC have published guidance with more information on eligibility and how to offer the discount.

NHS have introduced the test and trace service to help track the spread of coronavirus.

Find coronavirus financial support for your business.


Contact HMRC

A dedicated phoneline and webchat will be available from 13 July 2020. This guidance will be updated.

ATCM Note: This appears to be UK-wide. Have not seen anything confirmation to contradict this.

The Montpellier Courtyard is a specialty shopping centre in the middle of Montpellier Cheltenham. Since lockdown, businesses are planning to and have moved into the shopping destination, creating a new kind of buzz about the place.

The Courtyard is full of an eclectic collection of independent business varying from retailers to restaurants, home renovation and design services to hairdressers and even a tattoo studio.

Cheltenham BID’s Maria Allebone talked to the businesses of The Courtyard to get their opinions on how they feel about the shopping destination and how important they think independents are to a town centre.

A creative new patisserie called Edible Art, specialising in beautiful, colourful and unique pastries and cakes is due to open in The Courtyard on August 1. Damien Wager, owner of the new Courtyard business began his pastry career just four years ago, but he is already known for his wonderful pastry and cake creations, with nearly 70,000 followers on Instagram. Find examples of his work via his Instagram @edibleartpatisserie. Another new food business called Picknix will also be moving in to a first-floor unit in the next couple of weeks.

Above the expected patisserie is Silks Cheltenham – ‘an unrivalled and exclusive choice of mother of the bride holiday, and occasion wear collections as well as stylish everyday wear…’

Silks of Cheltenham offer an immediate feel of luxury, elegance, and quality. They mix sophistication and innovative design with high quality fabric and cuts.

Kerry Taylor, owner of Silks Cheltenham, said: “I for one love the fact that Silks is situated in The Montpellier Courtyard as there is nothing else like it in Cheltenham. It is unique and looks and feels like you are somewhere abroad. The Courtyard offers something a bit different with the variety of Independent businesses.”

Silks Cheltenham

New business Gallimore’s Kitchen, situated on the ground floor of the Montpellier shopping destination, opened just before lockdown but had to close because of the pandemic.  Lee Gallimore, chef owner said: “It is crucial to have a good level of independent businesses together, away from the main line of High Street chains. We are very lucky with our place in Montpellier and to have a beautiful outside courtyard area for our customers to enjoy”.

Rupert, chef and Lee Gallimore, chef owner of Gallimore’s Kitchen

Maria then spoke with Gemma Kay and Becky Hannis, co-owners of independent hairdressers Beau Amis. Gemma and Becky have been best friends since they were thirteen years of age and worked in big corporate salons for years. They both had the same dream of one day opening their own salon. It was eight years ago that they decided to take the leap and opened Beau Amis in The Montpellier Courtyard. They wanted to offer a personal experience from start to finish, where all clients would feel comfortable and safe.

It was the beauty of The Courtyard that appealed to the two hairdressers. Becky said: “The rent is more affordable than High Street and there is a sense of community.”

They both agreed that there needed to be little pockets of hustle and bustle away from the town centre to entice customers into other areas of the town.

Becky also said: “It is so important to be independent and offer something a little more bespoke, now more than ever. Beau Amis offers something personal and new.”

Gemma mentioned that: “Lockdown has made people realise how hard it is to run an independent business. Our business is personal, so customers know how safe and clean it is, and the changes we have made so they feel as comfortable as possible. Both of us have made the best out of a bad situation”.

Gemma Kay and Becky Hannis, owners of Beau Amis

au Panache, an independent family run boutique specialising in gift ware and home décor sits near enough adjacent to Beau Amis.

Taylore Greene, owner of au Panache, said: “The businesses that rent in The Courtyard are independent, unique and offer a good service. We offer a personal shopping experience, including gift wrapping. People want to see and feel the products before they buy them.”

The Courtyard is in a residential area and most of Taylore’s clientele live locally and walk to the store regularly. Parking is much easier to find in Montpellier compared to the High Street. Montpellier has everything you need for a full shopping experience – a pharmacy, restaurants, retailers, grocery shops and even a tattoo studio.

au Panache

Both L’una Design and Kitchens by L’una are businesses owned by husband and wife business partners, Dustin and Michelle Wise. They offer the complete package of home interior design – high-class personal service right the way through from planning, project management, source and supply, installation to lighting the candles on your dining room table, the finishing touches. Both Dustin and Michelle are incredibly passionate about what they do, and it shows through the personal experiences they offer.

Dustin said: “The Courtyard’s appeal to businesses is its boutique nature, it is a follow-on from Montpellier’s ethos of independence. Although The Courtyard has been around for thirty years, there has been an increase in new businesses moving in. We have been here for eight years and there has been four new businesses move in the last few years and five if you count the patisserie that is about to open downstairs.”

The couple say that The Courtyard is a place for discovery, full of like-minded determined business owners with a positive way of thinking. All pro-active in the way they run their trades. Areas like The Montpellier Courtyard make the town more interesting. The way the High Street is going there could be a shift to retail and residential and Montpellier have been doing that for years.

Michelle said: “There is always such an eclectic group of positive businesses here which creates a lovely vibe about the place.”

The couple hope that people remember their chain of thought through lockdown and stick with supporting local and independent businesses, remember who stayed open and was there for the people when times were hard. Dustin and Michelle have started a ‘support local business’ campaign across their social media channels to help keep the memento going, thanking the people who supported their business and other independents.

Kitchens by L’una studio

Deano Jouni, owner of TokyoTattoo Studios said: “Montpellier personifies Cheltenham and The Courtyard is the heart of the area. For myself, I wanted to run a business in a place that was different, there are lots of preconceived ideas of where a tattoo studio should be, and I like to go against the grain. I wanted to create something that surpassed anyone’s expectation. When you come into the studio you don’t expect it to look the way it does, you don’t expect it to be here in such a beautiful surrounding. Most studios are not in prime areas of the town whereas mine is.”

TokyoTattoo Studios, found on the first floor of The Courtyard shopping destination, is known for its ultra-hygiene, and creating an experience like no other.

When Deano found out he could reopen his tattoo studio they already had three- or four-months’ worth of bookings that they had to reschedule, as well as new appointments – making them booked up right up until November.

The pandemic has shown how well the business was already set-up and Deano has not had to make any changes. Everything was already contactless, and taps were all automatic along with the Dyson hand dryers. Hand sanitisers, hygiene stations and alcohol gel were already in place. The interior of the building (designed by Deano) exists in zones. As you step in to the business, you walk into a controlled environment; when a customer enters the business, they do not enter straight into the studio, there are panes of glass that separate each section and within the tattoo studio itself there is an air filtration/extraction system – TokyoTattoo Studios has been COVID-secure for seven years. The only thing Deano had to put in place was the perspex screen across his reception desk.

Deano worked with a lot of local brands and businesses within The Courtyard last year during his Tokyo Fest, he said: “If these businesses are successful it will then in turn mean that we are successful. That is where a lot of the bigger brands fall down, they are not interested in collaborating or working with independents and I think that is why The Courtyard works.”

TokyoTatto Studios

Independent barbers BiberianGray, owned by Steve Gray, Dee Biberian and their French bulldog Gizmo, moved into the ground floor of The Courtyard just after lockdown.

Steve Gray explains the business as clean, stylish with a mixture of  modern and old school feel, minimalistic but with the focus being on ‘luxury’ and a safe space. The barbers even have a DJ every Saturday for all to enjoy! Both owners (especially Dee as a musician), wanted to focus the business around music as it brings people together.

Dee grew up in Cheltenham and when he was younger The Courtyard was the spot for shopping. Where L’una Design is now used to be a children’s wooden toy store called ‘Once a Tree’ and Dee’s dad used to take him there every Christmas when he was a boy. He left town for a while and when he came back, he saw the unit up for rent in The Courtyard and instantly knew where to start his business.

Dee said: “It is great to have a shopping destination like The Courtyard in Cheltenham as independents cannot compete with High Street brands, we all help each other out here. Some independents have struggled and lost their businesses through lockdown whereas the big boys are still going, so I hope now that people feel more encouraged to come into the smaller businesses”.

Dee Biberian and Steve Gray – owners of BiberianGray

Other businesses include Bang and Olufsen and Caroline Charles.

If The Courtyard was situated in the town centre it would have a completely different feel. The Courtyard belongs in the beauty of Montpellier.

Come and visit all the charming business owners and businesses of The Montpellier Courtyard.

The Montpellier Cortyard