Cheltenham celebrated the opening of a new Christmas Market on the Promenade on Saturday 20 November, bringing huge crowds to town.  There was a feeling of festivity amongst the crowds, as visitors perused the stalls enjoying the variety of products, with the smell of mulled wine and cider in the air.

Christmas market on pedestrian area.  Wooden chalets with medium gathering of people looking at a stall.
Cheltenham Christmas Market and Christmas Lights switch on Picture by Mikal Ludlow Photography Tel; 07855177205

This is the first year Cheltenham Business Improvement District (BID) has worked with Market Place Europe to bring a new Christmas market to town. Market Place Europe are one of the country’s largest operators.  They run the Belfast and Glasgow Christmas markets and are very excited to be in Cheltenham this year.

Open every day until 19 December, the market offers a great selection of gifts, food and drink.  From handmade wooden and personalised ceramic Christmas decorations to winter boots and handmade cotton clothing, there’s something to suit all tastes and budgets.  Food from around the world includes exotic burgers, German sausages and Gluhwein, crepes and Belgian waffles, mead and gin, Hot chocolate and chocolaty treats.

Fir covered archway leading into Christmas fmarket with Waterstones book shop in the background.
Cheltenham Christmas Market and Christmas Lights switch on Picture by Mikal Ludlow Photography Tel; 07855177205

Keen to offer trading space for locals too, Market Place Europe ran a competition called Pitch Perfect, giving one lucky new business an invaluable opportunity to showcase their products to new audiences.  Cheltenham based trader Soup Cans were the delighted winners.  Selling gender neutral clothing, all their Tee’s and Sweatshirts are Fair Trade Certified, organic and 100% cotton.

Abi Walker, owner of Soup Cans said: ‘I usually sell online so this is an amazing opportunity to get my products in front of people so they can feel the quality. The fact that I design all the clothing, which is organic and ethically made, makes a real difference to shoppers.

People have been so interested in the story behind my business.  My ethos is to stop labelling people – labels are for soup cans!’

Belinda Hunt, BID operations manager said: ‘This is the first time the BID has brought this market to Cheltenham.  We’re delighted with the response from the public and enjoyed seeing all the happy faces on Saturday.  We have coach parties booked to come from Wales, Manchester and the Midlands so are looking forward to welcoming locals and visitors from further afield to the Cheltenham Christmas market.”

The market runs from Monday – Wednesday 10am -7pm, Thursday – Saturday 10am-9pm and Sunday 12-6pm.

Are you looking for job where you can make a real difference to the town you work in? 

Would you like to help shape the future of Cheltenham?

If the answer is yes, then we’ve got the perfect job for you.

About Cheltenham BID

A BID is a Business Improvement District and there are more than 300 of them in towns and cities across the UK. BIDs are business led bodies formed to improve a defined commercial area. They are not-for-profit organisations, funded by businesses, for the benefit of businesses.

Cheltenham BID was established in August 2016 and in July 2021 we were successfully voted in by the businensses we support for a second fire-year term.

Since 2016 we have brought new and exciting events to Cheltenham, worked with partners and stakeholders to increase visitor numbers and launched our Tidy Up Cheltenham campaign.

Throughout the various lockdowns, we supported more than 600 businesses, helping them access grants, guiding them through reopening processes, providing social distancing stickers and que management support.

Take a tour of our website to read more about what Cheltenham BID has achieved, how we support the BID businesses and what our plans are for the future.

About the role

As the BID Communications Assistant, you will be required to deliver effective communications across a range of platforms to ensure that BID businesses, stakeholders, partners, and the public are fully informed about BID activities and opportunities.

This would include posting relevant and engaging content on the BID’s two accounts across all social media channels, updating the BID and Cheltenham Gift Card websites and responding to customer enquiries.  There will be an element of copywriting articles for the monthly BID newsletter and some press releases. It will be important to work closely with Marketing Cheltenham, sharing content and updated business information with them.

To find out more

To find out more about the role, the salary and working hours you can download a full job description.

How to apply

Please send your CV and a covering email to no later than 5pm on Thuirsday 25 November 2021.

The BID’s ambassadors can honestly say their role is varied.  No day is ever the same as they go about their tasks.

We currently have two ambassadors who between them cover shifts over seven days a week.

Phil Cook joined the team on 1 October 2017.  Since then, he has reported and acted on more than 350 cases of anti-social behaviour ranging from flyposting and littering to drug and alcohol related violence.  He has cleaned stickers and graffiti from more than 180 public realm facilities such as lampposts, road signs, utility and post boxes. 

Phil said: “We work very hard to try to keep our town looking tidy and it is a never-ending task, with graffiti, fly-posting, littering and fly-tipping. This problem isn’t Cheltenham specific; it is a generic problem across the country, the difference is that Cheltenham has the BID ambassadors to help tackle it. If we can’t deal with it, we report it to somebody who can.

“It is not my favourite part of the job, but it is all part of what we do and who we are. Dealing with it does directly support the businesses and the local economy, because such antisocial behaviour can impact on visitor numbers and it’s important that the town looks welcoming”.

Phil recognises how important the public realm work is in helping Cheltenham to be a friendly and welcoming place, but prefers the daily contact with managers, owners and staff of the businesses.  Whether it’s delivering newsletters, hearing about their plans, sharing information about various BID projects or listening to the specific issues facing them, Phil’s enthusiasm to help the businesses means he is often their first port of call when seeking advice.  

Jo-Anne Hale is the newest addition to the team. She was thrown in at the deep end, starting as we went to ballot in June.  She had to quickly understand the history, operation and proposed future strategic direction of Cheltenham BID as she responded to specific queries about the balloting process and the team’s role in supporting BID zone enterprises.

At the same time, she was learning about the myriad of day-to-day issues that crop up for BID businesses, such as roadworks, parking issues, graffiti, antisocial behaviour, and the impact of new building works and how the BID helps with those issues.

Jo-Anne has also taken on the task of administering the popular Cheltenham gift card scheme.  She ensures that orders are sent out promptly and has given numerous participating businesses who have new staff, a refresher on how to accept the cards. 

Jo-Anne said: “Being a BID ambassador continues to be an exhilarating ride and I’m enjoying the varied mix of practical and administrative challenges arising each day, as well as the opportunity to interact with a wide range of business representatives. “

In the past few months, Phil and Jo-Anne have been visiting both old and new BID businesses to introduce themselves.  They have already built up some very positive relationships as they hear about the issues facing different types of businesses in the aftermath of the pandemic and highlighting specific ways in which individual businesses can benefit financially from belonging to the BID. 

Jo-Anne said: ‘Knowing that we’re mutually supported in our business endeavours is a morale boost in itself and the BID zone businesses’ positive influence on the town’s future will be much amplified as we work collaboratively to improve our prospects.’

The BID ambassadors are the eyes and ears of the town and the BID. They are ‘here to help you’ so please give them a friendly wave as they go about their day-to-day work.

The Board of Cheltenham Business Improvement District (BID) is pleased to announce the appointment of Heath Gunter as their new Chief Executive.

Heath takes up the new role following the BID’s successful renewal ballot in July, which saw an overwhelming ‘yes’ vote from businesses in the town in support of a second five year term. Mr Gunter will be responsible for leading the work of the BID which will see a further £2.8m invested in the town centre over the next five years.

Heath brings a wealth of experience to the BID having worked in a number of senior positions in the events industry, including the Mike Burton Group and Cheltenham Racecourse.  Over the past eight years, Heath has headed up the Commercial department at Cheltenham Ladies’ College which included launching the CLC Venues & Events brand and also being part of the multimillion pound redevelopment of the CLC Health and Fitness Centre. 

Alex Rose, Chair of Cheltenham BID said: “I am delighted that Heath has agreed to head up Cheltenham BID, it’s a huge coup for us to have him as our CEO.

It’s taken some time to find the right person after a really challenging year but following a successful reballot, I know the BID will deliver for its members over the next five years with Heath at the helm.

Myself, the Board, Belinda and the Ambassadors are very excited for the future.”

Heath Gunter said: “I am absolutely delighted to be joining Cheltenham BID as its new Chief Executive at what is a really exciting time for the town. Having worked in Cheltenham and Gloucestershire for the past 15 years, I know what a special place this is and just how important a thriving town centre is to our economy and the community. I’m looking forward to working with businesses and colleagues – both old and new – over the next five years to really make a difference and build on the tremendous work that the BID has delivered in its first term.”

In July, the BID secured its second term with a yes vote totalling 86% from the more than 300 businesses (a 46% turnout) that responded to the ballot and a 90% yes vote by rateable value.

During its first five years the BID, under the leadership of Kevan Blackadder who sadly passed away in January, established several annual events including Light Up Cheltenham and the Big Wheel, the Around Town programmes that bring Cheltenham’s famous Jazz, Music, Science and Literature Festivals onto the town’s streets and an enhanced Christmas Lights switch on and Christmas market.

As well as events the BID has been a vital support for businesses, facilitating partnerships, providing guidance, representing and championing town centre businesses and delivering cost saving initiatives. They have been responsible for initiatives such as BID in Bloom and Tidy Up Cheltenham which have both enhanced the look of the town centre for residents and visitors. Their Ambassadors have also facilitated partnerships and played an important role in welcoming visitors to the town centre

The BID’s second term runs through to 31st March 2026 and will see delivery focused on four priority areas: business support, marketing & promotion, town centre events and townscape enhancements.

With the overwhelming support of the BID businesses Cheltenham BID has been voted in for a second term.

There is now an exciting opportunity to lead and shape the future of Cheltenham as the Chief Executive of the BID.

We are looking for someone who will be responsible for the strategic leadership and management of the Cheltenham BID, leading a forward-thinking organisation to drive continuous improvements, innovation, and growth.

Do you have experience of working within complex partnership situations across public, private and third sectors? Are you an inspirational leader who can build relationships with a variety of stakeholders and motivate a team to deliver outstanding results?

Cheltenham BID’s activities over the past five years have had a positive impact on the businesses and the town centre as a whole. As Chief Executive you will bring a fresh vision and deliver the strategic objectives laid out in the BID Business Plan, which you can download here.

Applications close Friday 13th August.

Cheltenham Business Improvement District (BID) is delighted to announce that it has been successful in securing the votes required for a second term, having received the overwhelming backing of businesses in the town.

The BID’s second term will now commence on 1 August 2021 and run through to 31 March 2026 and will see a further £2.8m invested in Cheltenham town centre.

The BID secured its second term with a yes vote totalling 86% from the more than 300 businesses (a 46% turnout) that responded to the ballot and a 90% yes vote by rateable value.

The BID will immediately commence work on delivering the priorities set out in its new Business Plan which focuses on four key areas – Business Support, Marketing & Promotion, Town Centre Events and Townscape Enhancements.

Originally created in 2016, the BID was voted in to represent and support over 600 levy paying businesses in the town centre and went on to invest over £2.1 million into the town over the course of its first term.

During its first five years the BID established several annual events including Light Up Cheltenham and the Big Wheel, the Around Town programmes that bring Cheltenham’s famous Jazz, Music, Science and Literature Festivals onto the town’s streets and an enhanced Christmas Lights switch on and Christmas market.

As well as events the BID has been a vital support for businesses, facilitating partnerships, providing guidance, representing and championing town centre businesses and delivering cost saving initiatives. They have been responsible for initiatives such as BID in Bloom and Tidy Up Cheltenham which have both enhanced the look of the town centre for residents and visitors. Their Ambassadors have also facilitated partnerships and played an important role in welcoming visitors to the town centre.

As part of the renewal ballot the BID zone has been extended and will now include an additional 250 businesses which will benefit from its support. 

Alex Rose, Chair of Cheltenham BID says, “I’m delighted to have a successful reballot, it speaks volumes about the work the BID does. I’m proud to have been part of the BID for the last five years and am hugely grateful to Belinda and the BID team as well as the Directors who all give up their time for the BID. We also can’t forget the enormous role our friend and colleague, former Director Kevan Blackadder, had in forming the BID and in leading so much of our success during the first term.”

We’ve learned a lot, overcome some major challenges and I look forward to seeing the BID deliver for its members and the whole of Cheltenham over the years to come.”

Belinda Hunt, Operations Manager at Cheltenham BID says, “Everything we have done over the past five years, particularly in the last 18 months, has been done to support BID businesses and Cheltenham as a whole.  We are so looking forward to extending that support to a larger number of businesses.

On behalf of the BID staff, I’d like to thank everyone for their support and encouragement.”

Would you like to join an established team as an Ambassador?

Our Ambassadors have had a positive impact on the town, from making coach visitors feel welcome to ensuring rubbish is collected. They have arranged for leaves to be cleared from pavements and helped businesses take advantage of our projects.

Now you have the opportunity to make Cheltenham a better place to live, work, play and stay.

Over the past four and half years Cheltenham BID has brought some spectacular events to the town, improved the Christmas lights and made a real difference to BID businesses and the people who work for them. Throughout the pandemic, the BID has been there to support businesses through the many challenges they have had to face. Now in our fifth year, we are required to go to ballot to secure a second five-year term. The role of the ambassadors is critical to the success of the ballot so your work will make a real difference to the future of Cheltenham as we start to adapt to the changes brought on by the pandemic.

Read the Job Description and email with your CV and a covering email explaining why you would like the job and why you think you would be good at it.

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:

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:

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:

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

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;


(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—


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

(c)dress fitters, tailors and fashion designers;


(e)nail bars and salons;

(f)skin and body piercing services;

(g)sports and massage therapists;


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.

After a year of closures and limited openings, today the members of TURF Cheltenham are bouncing back with the launch of an online auction of unique hospitality experiences.

Up for offer are 60 lots from over 37 independent hospitality venues across Cheltenham. The experiences are as individual as the businesses promoting them, but they are all similar in offering “The Very Very First” opportunities.

To celebrate the end of lockdown, you’ll be able to bid on a range of experiences in support of local owner-operated hospitality venues, including the first Birdcage Booth at new bar Imperial Haus, a private room for six at Bar Padron and a table at the first jazz gig after reopening at Smokey Joe’s.

Other BID businesses involved in the auction include Woodkraft, Domaine 16, Lumiere, The Find, COCO, Under the Prom and GL50, as well as several more of Cheltenham’s very best venues.

Rob Metz, Owner of Café Boho, said: “I got the idea from a friend of mine back in Holland. He told me about a group of businesses that got together to see how they could get their customers back into their venues once lockdown was over. They wanted this to be something different, something special and very unique and so the Auction was created. As a member of TURF Cheltenham I just knew we could do this as well. All of us are not just independent hospitality business owners, but also people that are creative and like-minded and would be up for doing something different. After presenting the idea to the group, we formed a small core team and, well, the rest is history I suppose.”

As TURF Cheltenham is also keen to give back to the community and support a local charity, 5p of every £1 bid will be donated to National Star College in Ullenwood. The other 95p will go directly to the venue you are bidding for.

Monica Farthing, Fundraiser at National Star, said: “Never in National Star’s 54-year-old history has the need for our support been greater as during this pandemic. Our frontline nursing, care, therapies and education teams have gone above and beyond to keep the vulnerable young people at National Star safe, well and happy. We could not provide the high standard of facilities, which enabled us to respond quickly to the pandemic, without the fantastic support of the local community. We can’t thank TURF enough for choosing to support National Star through their auction.”

Set up just over a year ago, TURF Cheltenham is made up of 34 independent, owner-operated businesses who work together to have their voices heard and to share thoughts, ideas and build a great community.

To view the auction prizes available, visit:

For more information on how the auction works, visit:

The auction runs for three weeks from midday on Wednesday 31 March.  Follow TURF Cheltenham, and TURF Members, on their social channels for further updates: Instagram,  Facebook and Twitter 

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 We will do our best to help solve your issue, and if we can’t, we will try to find someone who can.

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:

Checklist: Getting Ready for SCA:

Infographic on Out of Scope and Exempt Transactions:

Cheltenham Business Improvement District (BID) has launched a consultation survey ahead of their renewal ballot in June 2021 and is calling on businesses to give their feedback.

As the business-led organisation approaches the end of its first five year term, businesses in the town are being asked to give their view on the BID’s work to date and what its priorities should be for the future.

Like all Business Improvement Districts in the UK, Cheltenham BID is required by legislation to run a renewal ballot in order to continue for a second term. As part of this process, the BID has launched an initial consultation asking businesses within the BID area what they think about its achievements to date and what projects and services businesses wish to see going forward if the BID are successful in achieving a second term.

The renewal ballot will take place in June 2021, and businesses will be required to vote ‘YES’ if they’d like to see the BID renewed for another five years.

If the ballot is a success with the majority of businesses voting ‘YES’ to keep Cheltenham BID, it will run for another five years, investing over £2.1million into the town centre. If the renewal ballot is unsuccessful, Cheltenham BID will cease to exist from August 2021 and the town will lose this vital investment.

Cheltenham BID is a not-for-profit organisation funded by and working for levy paying businesses in the town centre. Originally created in 2016, the BID was voted in by businesses to represent and support over 600 levy paying businesses in the town centre. Many local businesses were directly involved in drawing up the BID’s first five-year business plan, helping to bring forward projects to promote the town and give businesses in the town centre a stronger, collective voice. 

Investing the annual levy collected from businesses, the BID has delivered a wide range of projects and services to support businesses, improve the visitor experience, bring exciting new events to the town and give levy payers a collective voice on town issues.

The success of the BID has not gone unnoticed by those businesses outside the current BID operating area, and in response it is proposed that its area of operation be extended to cover a larger section of the town centre.

Businesses within the proposed new area are being given the opportunity to express their opinion on the extension during this consultation phase with a view to being included in the renewal ballot vote.

The area extension would enable wider investment across the whole town and an additional 250 organisations would benefit from the BID’s support. The proposed operating area can be reviewed here.

The consultation is open until 8 March 2021. Responses will help shape the BID’s business plan and priorities for the next five year term. The business plan will be published in May ahead of the official ballot in June.

Cheltenham BID’s consultation document can be read here and the online survey can be completed here.

Alex Rose, speaking as Chairman of Cheltenham BID and Managing Director of levy-paying business Beards Jewellers, said: “Looking back, the BID’s achievements are testament to the clear priorities that businesses set out at the time of inception and their ongoing commitment and support over the past four and half years.   

“From spectacular new events drawing huge crowds to the many free, family friendly trails – the BID has been instrumental in bringing thousands of people to Cheltenham time and time again. It has also made a significant contribution to improving the town’s public realm – refurbishing benches, clearing litter, painting bollards to name but a few – along with ‘BID in Bloom’ and the spectacular summer floral displays that have come to symbolise the town.

“More recently and throughout the Covid-19 pandemic, the BID has helped businesses access grants, given them support to get online, provided social distancing stickers and face coverings and promoted the ‘shop local’ message.

“We are proud of the BID’s achievements over the last five years, but we need business feedback in order to continue building on this success. The BID’s consultation is an opportunity for levy payers to give their feedback on the BID’s work to date and have their say on future priorities, and therefore I urge all levy payers to take a few minutes to read the consultation document and complete the survey.”

Tracey Crews, Director of Planning Place & Growth of Cheltenham Borough Council, said: “The BID was established to encourage growth, development and continued investment in the town centre, and through its vast array of initiatives, projects and events, it has achieved exactly that.

“The BID has been an important partner to help improve the town centre for businesses, and the BID’s investment and resource will be fundamental to support the town’s recovery following the Covid-19 pandemic.”

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

It’s with great sadness that Cheltenham Business Improvement District (BID) announces the passing of its director Kevan Blackadder. A well-respected figure in Cheltenham and across the county it’s expected many friends and colleagues will wish to join us in paying tribute to the enormous contribution which Kevan has made to the town over many years.

Known for his work within Cheltenham as Town Centre Manager and more recently Director of Cheltenham BID, Kevan was passionate about seeing the town centre improve and thrive, supporting hundreds of businesses and establishing events which are now enjoyed by thousands of residents and visitors annually.

Kevan, who celebrated turning 60 last year, began his career as a reporter working for his home-town newspaper, the Whitehaven News in Cumbria; he then took a role at the Bristol Post before eventually settling in Gloucestershire with his wife, Liz, and becoming editor of the Gloucestershire Echo.

A passionate advocate for the town, in 2015 Kevan became manager of the Cheltenham Business Partnership to help bring businesses and organisations together for the benefit of the town. In 2016 he moved into his role as director of Cheltenham BID and worked tirelessly to support businesses and improve the town centre. In his five years as director, Cheltenham BID took ownership of the town’s Christmas light switch-on and markets, year after year building on the successes and paving the way for more festive offerings for residents, including an ice rink which is expected in 2021.

Kevan also helped establish Light Up Cheltenham, Cheltenham’s Boutique Sale and Cheltenham’s Chilli Fiesta plus the Cheltenham Festivals …Around Town initiatives which offer free activities for Cheltenham’s residents and visitors. All the events helped support businesses by bringing thousands of visitors into the town centre. Cheltenham BID has also been responsible for town centre initiatives such as Tidy Up Cheltenham and Cheltenham in Bloom which have both seen the town centre improved.

Despite settling in Bishops Cleeve, Kevan never forgot his roots, passionately following Carlisle United Football Club throughout his life. He also enjoyed keeping active both at his local gym and whilst taking walks.

In summer last year Kevan took a step back from his role within Cheltenham BID due to illness but avidly followed Cheltenham BID’s work and continued to support where he could. The news of his passing this week was unexpected and will be a shock to those who knew him.

Alex Rose, chair of Cheltenham BID’s board, says: “Cheltenham has lost one of its biggest pillars. Kevan worked tirelessly for the benefit of the town and was a friend to so many. He was the driving force of so many of Cheltenham and the BID’s successes. Even during his illness he was still working and keeping up to speed.  I and the BID team will miss him greatly.”

Belinda Hunt, operations manager of Cheltenham BID, says: “Kevan was such fun to work with.  He always saw the positive side of a situation and no matter how difficult the circumstances, he always managed to help put things in perspective.  

“His passion for Cheltenham was infectious and you couldn’t help but be swept along by his enthusiasm, with the businesses interests always at the heart of everything he did as BID Director.

I feel very fortunate to have worked with him as he helped the BID team to grow as people.”

Cllr Rowena Hay, leader at Cheltenham Borough Council said: ‘’We are saddened to hear of the sudden passing of Kevan Blackadder.

‘’Kevan was very well known in Cheltenham. He was a key voice and ambassador in representing businesses and championing the town and wider Gloucestershire, in his role as director at the Business Improvement District and prior to that as editor of the Gloucestershire Echo. Kevan will be sadly missed as a respected colleague and friend to many. Kevan’s passing will be a huge loss to the town. 

‘’Our thoughts are with Kevan’s family at this time.’’

Kevan is survived by his wife Liz.

Cheltenham BID sold exactly £27,055 worth of Cheltenham Gift Cards over the 2020 Christmas period. This money will be locked into Cheltenham’s local economy, supporting local businesses and people.

Launched in 2017 by Cheltenham BID, the gift card allows recipients to spend in a wide range of town-centre businesses. Over 80 businesses are currently signed up to accept the card across retail, food, drink, leisure and entertainment.

There are many advantages of the Cheltenham Gift Card to town centre businesses. Customers that redeem gift cards tend to upgrade their experience and spend on average 40% more than the value of the gift card by going for higher-margin products. People that receive town centre gift cards also tend to explore their options more, and 15% of gift card redemption is by customers visiting a business for the first time.

It doesn’t cost anything to become a part of the programme. There are no additional set-up or ongoing fees, and as the scheme uses the existing Mastercard network it is easy to get started. If your business is interested in accepting the Cheltenham Gift Card, please contact

Read more about the scheme here:

The UK-EU Free Trade Agreement took effect on Friday 1 January 2021, requiring immediate action from businesses to ensure compliance and avoid any disruption to operations.

Recognising the lack of clear information available, The Growth Hub and Gfirst LEP have produced resources for businesses in Gloucestershire to navigate Brexit, helping them transition and comply with the new rules.

The resources have been compiled by a new team of EU Transition Advisors who are also on-hand to answer any concerns or challenges faced by businesses free of charge.

As the deal is over 1000 pages long, the following points have been outlined as the most important for businesses:

For more detail on each point, visit

Other useful webpages include a list of the best resources and an article on how businesses can avoid disruption. 

Resources most relevant to Cheltenham BID businesses:

UK Government: an interactive tool for UK citizens and businesses.

UK Finance: sector-specific (financial) advice for UK businesses

BRC: sector-specific (retail) advice for UK businesses

UKFDA: sector-specific (food and drink) advice for UK businesses

Cheltenham: Cheltenham Borough Council’s advice for local businesses

FSB: advice and support specifically aimed at small UK businesses.

Business actions by topic, support and guidance

Top five action lists for ten sectors

Find the full list of resources here and the page on how to avoid disruption here.

If you would like to ask a question or speak with an EU Transition Advisor, get in touch by emailing

Cheltenham has successfully retained its Purple Flag status since 2016 for its vibrant choice of night-time leisure and entertainment, for a diversity of ages, groups, lifestyles and cultures. Residents are asked to once again share their views on Cheltenham’s evening and night-time offering through a short survey, online only.

The survey results will form part of Cheltenham’s application for renewal of the Purple Flag status. The feedback will also provide the council with a better understanding of how people use and view the town during the evenings including changes due to Covid-19.  Deadline for responses is close of business on 20 January 2021.

Survey link:

What is Purple Flag?

Purple Flag is an accreditation process similar to Green Flag Award for parks and Blue Flag for beaches. It leads to Purple Flag status for town centres that meet or surpass the standards of excellence in managing the evening and night-time economy.

Purple Flag gives national recognition to the fact that Cheltenham, and particularly its night-time economy, is safe, well managed and offers diversity for everybody to enjoy.

Councillor Andrew McKinlay, Cabinet Member for Cyber and Safety, said: “We are very pleased to have retained our Purple Flag status over recent years and hope to once again. Businesses and organisations have worked hard to offer safe and inclusive environments and adapt to Covid-19 regulations.

“We’d ask anyone who has a view on our night-time economy to complete the short survey to help us further develop our night-time offer.”

Cheltenham will be submitting its application to renew Purple Flag at the end of January 2021.

Photography by Mikal Ludlow

The BID’s other discounted travel schemes were difficult for night-time economy staff to use because of the timings. Cheltenham BID has listened and negotiated discounted parking in Portland Street Car Park from 5pm.

Park all night from 5pm for just £4!

Please get in touch via  for more information on how to receive the discount.

‘Loos for you’, a new pilot scheme, begins this week as part of the Cheltenham Toilet Partnership scheme.

Cheltenham BID is working in partnership with Cheltenham Borough Council and local businesses in order to provide more readily available toilet facilities for visitors and shoppers.

Running from Tuesday 8 December 2020 with an initial review of customer feedback at the end of February 2021, the pilot scheme will see both the John Lewis Partnership and House of Fraser Cheltenham stores make their toilet facilities available to the public during normal opening hours without having to make a purchase. Both retail outlets will be displaying their ‘Loos for you’ sticker provided by the Council, indicating their participation in the scheme and the level of facilities available. At a later date, the trial will include the Regent Arcade toilets.

Belinda Hunt, Operations Manager at Cheltenham BID said: “We are grateful to John Lewis & Partners and House of Fraser for helping to get this scheme off the ground. We hope that their confidence in the scheme will encourage other BID businesses to get involved and offer their support.

“Knowing they can access facilities which are kept to the highest standards will give visitors the assurance they can comfortably go into the businesses. This in turn gives the businesses the opportunity to welcome potential customers who might not otherwise have visited them.”

Cllr Chris Coleman, Member for Clean and Green Environment said: “This pilot is all about working with the local business community to offer clean, safe and accessible toilets for residents and visitors in the town. The extra convenience will benefit all. The council run toilets will continue to be open as advertised and we hope that in the future if the pilot scheme is successful that more hospitality and retail outlets will join our partnership.

“We are keen to have feedback from those using these ‘Loos for you’. Posters will be displayed in each facility, which will have details on how to give us feedback.”

James Carter, Partner and Department Manager at the John Lewis Partnership said: “We’re really pleased to be working alongside the council and other local businesses in joining the Community Toilet Scheme. Access to clean facilities is important for many of our customers and visitors to Cheltenham, and this scheme will really help in maintaining the town as a great retail and leisure destination.”

Further information on Cheltenham toilet partnership scheme and a list of frequently asked questions will be available online