Cheltenham has a strong tradition of hosting successful, prestigious, large scale cultural events which have been shown to materially boost the local economy. Now branded The Festival Town, events in Cheltenham are integral to the delivery of the Place Vision providing added value to tourism and contributing to the economic and cultural vitality of the town.
The Festival Town has been widely supported from town-wide stakeholders who see the benefit this new identity can bring to Cheltenham and its economy. With the council’s current investment in Cyber Central and the Golden Valley UK projects, there will be an even greater spotlight on Cheltenham from potential investors.
With a limited number of major visitor attractions in the town, it is Cheltenham’s cultural offer – and its extensive festivals and events programme – that must underpin the growth of the visitor economy. The creation of a new Culture Strategy for Cheltenham, which the Events Strategy supports, will also play a vital role in helping to shape the town’s collective approach to its cultural offer and events programme and ultimately in realising the wider ambitions set out in the Cheltenham Place Vision.
With the Culture Strategy currently being developed, this Events Strategy has been labelled interim. Primarily, this document will focus on some of the council’s priorities and shorter term objectives to improve event delivery and management. This strategy will then be re-visited and aligned with the Culture Strategy and its recommendations, becoming a longer term, Cheltenham-wide Events Strategy.
As well as hosting large scale cultural events the town is also home to active grassroots events delivered by individuals and community groups. They attract visitors to the region and positively influence perception of place through the level of quality in the experiences they deliver. Whilst Cheltenham is well placed with a strong events calendar, it is important they we refresh our approach to remain a destination of choice in the future. Events are more frequently competing for position in the same reduced funding pool, therefore the Borough Council together with its stakeholders need to think carefully about identifying and prioritising events that can best be aligned to Cheltenham’s wider economic, social, sporting and cultural outcomes. The Events Strategy is just one tool that will help to inform and provide strategic direction to this.
To read the Interim Events Strategy download here: