Photography: Mikal Ludlow

Cheltenham is sparkling in a beautiful Christmas glow following the switch on of the town’s new festive lights.

Year on year since the BID was formed in 2016 we have improved and extended the Christmas lights display in the town centre.

This year we have worked with a new contractor to bring something very special to Cheltenham.  The new lights not only look spectacular during the hours of darkness, but also bring some festive cheer to the streets during daylight hours.

The golden baubles in the trees on The Promenade are already proving to be popular, with hundreds of social media posts.  As well as the new street displays, there is a stunning new Christmas tree on the Montpellier roundabout. 

As well as the Christmas lights, the BID is pleased to be working with the Queens Hotel on their exciting new project sees its current scaffolding lit up with a projection of a giant advent calendar.

Supporting local charity, No Child Left Behind (NCLB), which aims to help young people thrive, the organisations have developed a new children’s artwork competition surrounding the theme of ‘Kindness at Christmas’. Each day from 1 December a lucky winner will have their artwork revealed within the advent calendar. The winners will also be able experience the grandeur of the venue with an afternoon tea for them and their family when restrictions permit.  

Thank you to all of our businesses who have put up some beautiful displays.  The shops have some stunning festive displays and the office windows are aglow with lights and decorations, helping to bring vibrancy to the town. 

Featured in the December 2020 newsletter.

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 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

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

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

Featured in the December 2020 newsletter.