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.

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.

After outgrowing their current venue on Coronation Square, Escape Rooms Cheltenham are opening a new venue in Cheltenham town centre at the end of March and are inviting BID businesses to be a part of their newest puzzle.

The Great Eggscape will be a family-oriented walking trail around Cheltenham town centre this Easter. Each participating business will display a poster of a unique egg QR code in their window and players will have to locate each egg and solve a small puzzle relating to the host business. After submitting the answers on an accompanying webpage, players will be in with a chance of winning gift vouchers to use at the escape rooms once they re-open in May.

The trail is due to launch on April 2nd and will run until the end of April. By encouraging people into the town centre as restrictions begin to lift, it is hoped the The Great Eggscape will benefit all BID businesses while promoting the opening of the new venue.

There is still plenty of room for more businesses to be part of the trail. If you would like to take part, please email: pete@escaperoomscheltenham.co.uk.

Cheltenham BID would like to welcome Escape Rooms Cheltenham to the BID zone while recognising its great eagerness to work with other local businesses to improve the town centre.

You can find more details about The Great Eggscape at: https://escaperoomscheltenham.co.uk/the-great-eggscape/

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

Since August 2016, Cheltenham Business Improvement District (BID) has been instrumental in improving the town centre for businesses and visitors alike by delivering practical services and exciting new events like Light Up Cheltenham.

Now you have the opportunity to join this successful team and help shape the future of Cheltenham.

Like all BIDs, Cheltenham BID is required by legislation to run a renewal ballot in order to continue for a second term and we are recruiting for a Renewal Co-ordinator.

If you are passionate about Cheltenham and want to feel that the work you are doing is meaningful, we would like to hear from you.

The best person for this varied role will need to have excellent verbal and written communication skills with a working knowledge of Microsoft Word, Excel and Outlook. An eye for detail and an understanding of the importance of collecting accurate data is essential.  You will enjoy walking and thrive as part of a team.

More details can be found on the job description here.  If, after you’ve read this, you would like to apply please email Belinda Hunt at belinda@cheltenhambid.co.uk with your CV and a covering note telling us why you think you would be the perfect person for the role.

Applications close on Friday 5th March. We reserve the right to close this vacancy early if a suitable candidate is found.

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.”

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.

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 https://www.thegrowthhub.biz/the-buzz/news/zero-days-go-uks-eu-deal.

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 euexit@thegrowthhub.biz.

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: https://www.smartsurvey.co.uk/s/3HP1QV/

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

‘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 www.cheltenham.gov.uk/loosforyou.

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.

A new campaign has been launched to celebrate Cheltenham’s famous and mouth-watering food and drink offering, providing a much needed boost to the town’s hospitality sector. The Great Taste of Cheltenham, which will run for the next six weeks, will highlight the incredible array of establishments in the town, showcasing its diverse and delicious dining offer together with its renowned hospitality culture.

Cheltenham has long been known as a foodie destination, from its award winning and Michelin-starred dining through to some of the best independent and up and coming eateries in the region. But as new national guidelines are introduced, the new campaign seeks to remind people of just how special Cheltenham’s local food & drink scene is – and why continuing to support the hospitality sector is more important now than ever.

This BID initiative is being delivered by Marketing Cheltenham and will encourage visitors and locals to support our diverse hospitality sector.

David Jackson, Manager of Marketing Cheltenham, says of the campaign, “Cheltenham’s hospitality and food and drink scene is a really big part of the town’s identity and DNA – and we’re lucky to have such an exceptional range of independent and award winning cafes, restaurants and chefs on our doorstep. From our Masterchef finalists and Michelin-recommended restaurants through to our authentic and original Sri Lankan street food, Cheltenham’s food and drink scene competes with the top foodie destinations anywhere in the country. The Great Taste of Cheltenham is our way of reminding people of that and how important it is that we continue to support these businesses through these uncertain times.”

Belinda Hunt, Operations Manager at Cheltenham BID added: “We hope that the timing of this campaign will come at just the right moment to support the many hospitality businesses across Cheltenham who were forced to close their doors during the Covid-19 lockdown. The range and quality of our food & drink offer here in Cheltenham really is superb, so the BID is pleased to bring you The Great Taste of Cheltenham as a wonderful way of telling this story and encouraging both locals and visitors back into the town.”

The campaign, which will be hosted on the Visit Cheltenham website and social media channels, will also feature a series of new videos with local foodie favourites The Taste Plug. And following on from its own recent launch, Cheltenham’s new collective of independent hospitality businesses, TURF, are also partnering on the campaign.

To find out more about The Great Taste of Cheltenham, go to www.visitcheltenham.com/great-taste. To watch The Great Taste of Cheltenham videos click here.

Cheltenham BID is the lead sponsor of the Cheltenham Festivals … around town programme, bringing hundreds of free events to the streets and businesses of Cheltenham during the Jazz, Science, Music and Literature Festivals, including the annual Lit Crawl.

Of course this year’s programme is having to take a very different format, and we would like to thank the team at Cheltenham Festivals for enabling us to continue to support this important event.

As ever, over the two weekends of The Times and The Sunday Times Cheltenham Literature Festival there will be an exciting line up of well-known as well as emerging poets, writers, spoken word artists and song writers for people to listen to.

This year, instead of the usual Lit Crawl format, free performances will be held at the Imperial Gardens Stage’, and brought to you in connection with: John Gordons, The Botanist, Boston Tea Party, Memsahib Gin and Tea Bar, The Beehive, Soho Bar & Eatery and Montpellier Wine Bar.

Find the programme of events here.

Despite the earlier closing time, you will still be able to enjoy an early evening drink in some of Cheltenham’s many safe and friendly bars, grab a bite to eat or have a special meal at one of  the town’s hundreds of restaurants and bars.

Why not take a stroll up to Montpellier before or after the show to enjoy some of the finest selections of whiskies, wines, gins and liqueurs?

Or wander into the town centre for a cocktail and some delicious food.

Looking for somewhere to go pre-show?

The Beehive serves the best traditional ales, the finest local ciders, craft gins and fresh locally-sourced produce, cooked to order in a friendly and welcoming atmosphere.

This new format has given us the chance to involve one of our professional services businesses for the first time this year and we are pleased to have Cambray Design on board. We have aligned them with some of Gloucestershire’s talented emerging poets whose creativity we thought fits well with this design agency’s ability to solve challenges, change behviours and generate positive change through innovation.

Trade (commercial) refuse is the waste generated by any business organisation,

Under current environmental law, all businesses must ensure that their waste is stored securely, preventing waste escaping, and that it is collected and disposed of by a licensed waste management organisation.

Cheltenham Borough Council (CBC) offer a fast, flexible and customer focused collection service, that can be tailored to individual needs. They aim to provide a reliable service at a competitive price and their services comply with all legislative requirements. They also provide recycling of paper and cardboard in the town centre and a glass recycling service borough wide. 

Businesses can obtain tickets for waste collection here .

Wheeled bin collection service

CBC offer a range of sizes of durable wheeled containers. Charges for wheeled containers are calculated on the size and quantity of bins, and the number of collections required per week. CBC operate the collection service 7 days a week.

They can tailor the collections to suit individual businesses and also provide a variety of discounts so it would be advisable to contact CBC for a quote.

CBC will be pleased to visit your business at no cost to discuss your waste collection needs.

Trade waste and recycling bags and labels

CBC’s bag or label collection service is ideal for smaller businesses.

Blue trade waste bags or labels can only be used in the town centre and can be purchased in rolls of 25. If your business is located outside of the town centre you can purchase orange trade waste bags. Town centre collections of blue trade waste bags/labels are made on a Tuesday and Friday. Orange bags are collected on the same day as the domestic refuse collection for that particular street. 

Clear trade waste bags for recycling paper, and labels for cardboard recycling can also be used in the town centre. These are supplied as either a roll of 25 bags or a book of 25 labels. Paper and card recycling collections are on Tuesday and Friday.

You can view a list of roads that are classed as in the town centre for the blue bag/label scheme and the clear bag paper and cardboard label recycling scheme. Any businesses located on a road not listed here are required to purchase orange bags and should contact us to discuss the recycling options available.

Bags may only be filled with general commercial waste. Hazardous and special waste cannot be collected.

Purchase bags and labels

To purchase bags and/or labels please use CBC’s online Trade Refuse payment pages where you will be able to buy a variety of items including the option to have the items delivered to your Cheltenham premises. There is a charge for delivery and if it’s required please remember to add the delivery option to your order. If you need assistance in placing your order, please contact customer services on 01242 262626.

The person collecting or receiving the items will be required to sign a duty of care controlled waste transfer notice and will receive a copy. Please note that there is a legal requirement to retain the document for 2 years.

Deliveries

Deliveries will be made within 5 working days.

Collections

Once payment has been made, the bags or labels can be collected from the goods inwards and collections point at the rear of the Municipal Offices, alongside the marked loading bay. Collections can be made between 9am and 4.30pm Monday to Friday (10am to 4.30pm Wednesday). Please provide a copy of the purchase receipt when collecting the items.

A new expanded Christmas Market planned for Cheltenham this year has been cancelled because of the Coronavirus epidemic.

Cheltenham Business Improvement District (BID) made the decision in consultation with Gloucestershire Public Health and the town’s Safety Advisory Group.

The BID will ensure that Christmas is special this year by providing completely new Christmas lights across the town centre, supported by Cheltenham Borough Council. It also plans to put on a range of family activities and continue to work with businesses to make Christmas as special as possible.

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.

The BID has taken over responsibility for the markets from the borough council for the first time this year and had appointed two new operators, with plans to expand from the pedestrianised Promenade all the way up to Imperial Gardens.

Following the Government’s announcement on ‘the rule of six’ was made on September 9, it was clear that it would not be safe to run a market of any kind this year.

Alex Rose, Chairman of the BID, said: “The decision to cancel was a hard one.  We looked at several alternative plans which would enable us to bring the extended markets to town, but the public’s health must come first.

“The board and BID team are working flat out to try and support business during this challenging time and ask the public to continue to support their local businesses by shopping and eating locally.”

Cities like Birmingham, Gloucester and Bath have all cancelled their Christmas markets amid concerns over the upsurge in the number of people contracting Coronavirus nationally. 

Jess Goodwin, Event Manager for the BID and Marketing Cheltenham said: “With nearby places like Worcester also cancelling their markets, Cheltenham would have been the only town in the South West and Midlands still running a market, attracting large crowds from neighbouring regions, which could affect the level of infection within the local area and we want to do what is necessary to avoid this.”

Market Place, who would have been running a new section of the market by Imperial Gardens and 131 The Promenade had a wide array of traders, including some local businesses, lined up. Managing Director Allan Hartwell, said: “It is disappointing that the current situation has prevented us from bringing this exciting new addition to Cheltenham this year, but it is of paramount importance that we keep everyone safe.”

The BID will now continue to work to ensure that Cheltenham is a safe place to come and enjoy Christmas shopping.

Belinda Hunt, BID Operations Manager, said: “The festive cheer will still be a big part of the Christmas shopping experience in Cheltenham, with the new Christmas lights this year and we are exploring other activities for families to enjoy.”

The No Child Left Behind community agreement was launched on Thursday 3 September. It was launched across the town, which has so far seen over 30 schools and organisations across all sectors commit to working with families in a way that focusses on kindness, understanding and empathy. 

Across the borough, 15 schools and 16 organisations have signed up to the aims of the NCLB community agreement. For those who have signed up the agreement is a commitment to making sure that services across our town are delivered with kindness at their core, taking into account families’ individual circumstances and experiences. The agreement is determined to play a part in creating a brighter future for the children and young people in Cheltenham, and ensures that no child is left behind.

Cllr Flo Clucas cabinet member for healthy lifestyles said: ‘’We’ve seen extraordinary resilience and compassion during the pandemic. As part of the No Child Left Behind initiative I’m delighted to see that so many have signed up to the NCLB community agreement which will see that support continue.

‘’Our Cheltenham families will know that advice, help, assurance and assistance is there for them. It will be offered through inclusive and compassionate environments where they will be able to talk about issues affecting them, without judgement, and supported in a way that focusses on their strengths and helps them overcome their challenges.

‘’It might be that someone has a situation at home and is unsure where to ask for help or there may be an employer who wants to offer a fuller support package for staff. Wherever you see the NCLB community agreement mark you know you can get advice and support with kindness at its core.’’

Charlotte Blanch head teacher at catholic primary school, St Gregory the Great continued: ‘’We have signed up to the NCLB campaign as our pledge to work alongside our children and their families to support them in being the very best they can be, no matter what socio economic class they’re from and no matter what experiences they have had in life.  We believe it is now more important than ever to work together as a whole town to understand one another better, build relationships with each other and recognise how we’re all valuable cogs of the same machine, working together to do the very best for our children, the future of our town.’’

Maria Allebone, digital and communication executive at Cheltenham BID, continued: “We have always been a great supporter of No Child Left Behind and have signed up to community agreement because we want not only to see the business community do well but would like to see everyone in Cheltenham thrive. It starts with our young people, these are our future entrepreneurs, hoteliers, retailers as well as customers. The BID is continually organising free inclusive family activities across the town centre, encouraging businesses and employees to interact with participants. Our 2020 summer trail; the interactive Hidden Cheltenham Trail and the Monster Hero Safari Trail are two great examples of how we have achieved this.”

NCLB continues to build on its successes and learning points of the past year. Led by the borough council, together with its core partners, it continues to address the report which identified more than a third of the town’s children were living in poverty. These children were statistically more likely to experience challenges such as school exclusion, lower educational attainment, poorer mental and physical health, and an increased likelihood of having social care involvement in their family.

The initiative has also launched a new website, designed to highlight the strengths and achievements of Cheltenham families and organisations, and to provide signposting and support.  

Follow @NCLBchelt or #NCLBchelt