Cheltenham has been voted the best place to live in the South West 2020 by The Sunday Times with its education, culture and connectivity highlighted amongst its best attributes.
Cheltenham is no stranger to such accolades, having been voted by The Telegraph as the best place in the UK to raise a family in 2014. However, this latest recognition highlights why Cheltenham is fast becoming a destination for those wishing to enjoy the relaxation of countryside living without missing out on the culture of a big city.
Alongside its well-known horse racing and stunning Regency architecture, the article details the town’s incredible food and drink offering, from its Michelin starred restaurant to its more recent crop of cool cafes and classy gastro pubs. In addition, Cheltenham boasts a huge choice of shops and is seen by many as the shopping destination for The Cotswolds. There are also over 25 festivals a year, from the world leading Literature Festival to the longest running Cricket Festival and for those rare times festivals aren’t on, locals and visitors can get their dose of culture at one of the town’s four theatres or the town’s highly regarded museum.
The article also mentions the incredible selection of schools the town has, from private schools and grammar schools to highly rated comprehensives, many of which are considered amongst the best in the whole of the South West.
Cheltenham is also recognised for its connections to major cities such as Bristol, Birmingham and London making it perfect for commuters and visitors. This follows a timetable change by Great Western Railway in December which saw train journeys cut to less than two hours for some journeys to London.
Cheltenham has a firm focus on the future too though, with the town’s famous resident – the UK government’s cyber hub GCHQ – at the heart of ambitious plans to establish Cheltenham as one of the world’s cyber tech capitals. Plans for a new campus and cyber-tech community, Cyber Central – a 45 hectare site at the heart of the 200 hectare Golden Valley development to the west of the town and adjacent to the GCHQ site – are now accelerating under the leadership of Cheltenham Borough Council. The Council recently bought the land on which the site will be developed for £37.5m seizing, as they see it, the once-in-a-lifetime opportunity to create a world-leading cyber-tech hub in Cheltenham, with the associated economic and social benefits this will bring.
Tracey Crews, Director of Planning at Cheltenham Borough Council said “This announcement comes at one of the most unprecedented periods of change as we deal with the impacts of COVID-19. What we are already seeing is communities and businesses rallying together. Not only do we have a strong basis upon which to address economic recovery, but the support of our businesses, residents and visitors. Together we will get through this and build upon the positive success factors which has led to Cheltenham being voted the best place to live in the South West.”