May 2020

Towards Recovery

We’ve heard Prime Minister Boris Johnson begin to outline the UK’s roadmap to take us out of lockdown and towards recovery. Whilst inevitably some questions remain, we can at least be heartened by the fact that we can begin to see an indicative timeline in front of us – and therefore begin to prepare our own steps to recovery.
As part of our own recovery planning, here at Marketing Cheltenham we are pleased to be playing an active role on a number of fronts to ensure Cheltenham’s visitor economy continues to be supported and is at the forefront of the town’s recovery plans.
This includes:

  • Continuing to contact and speak to each and every Marketing Cheltenham member, ensuring we understand your needs and can provide the most appropriate help, advice and support.
  • Proactively promoting all of the fantastic businesses and individuals who continue to come up with ways of reimagining their offer, from offering new delivery services or providing key-worker accommodation through to some of the most incredible and creative online performances and activities for children and adults alike.
  • Contributing to Cheltenham Borough Council’s Recovery Strategy and its Economy (including tourism/visitor economy, high street and culture) workstream.
  • Collaborating with Cheltenham BID and other partners across the town on a town-wide recovery campaign, to begin to encourage people back into town (when the time is right). Look out for more on this in the coming days.
  • Developing a new food and drink focused campaign to celebrate the best of Cheltenham’s hospitality sector and its exceptional independents. The Great Taste of Cheltenham will include (government guidelines permitting) a new take on a restaurant week for the town, timed to support recovery and provide the town with a much needed post-lockdown boost. Again – look out for this separately.
  • Developing our new Meet In Cheltenham conference and venue finding service – including a brand new website and enquiry system, which is due to launch later this summer.
  • Working with Cheltenham BID to prepare Cheltenham’s Christmas offer (again, subject to guidelines) and a significant supporting campaign.
  • Developing a new business and investment focused website and campaign that will project Cheltenham as a business and investment-ready town and help to rebuild confidence back into the local business community, post Covid-19.
  • Supporting Cheltenham Borough Council’s Cyber Team in the launch-to-market of the Golden Valley Development – the transformational £400m investment that will put Cheltenham at the forefront of the global cyber industry.

Suffice to say, we are working hard behind the scenes to ensure Cheltenham is in a position to recover as quickly and effectively as possible.
Latest business advice, resources and opportunities
VisitEngland’s Business Advice Hub
As ever, Visit England and Visit Britain are continuing to provide daily industry updates on their website, with useful business advice and links to additional resources.
The Business Advice Hub features a dedicated section containing a whole range of support available to tourism businesses during the COVID-19 pandemic, from funding to guidance on mental health.
Information signposted to includes:

  • Government support finder tool
  • Skills Toolkit
  • Tips on securing finance
  • Decontamination advice for hotel rooms
  • Support webinars

Explore the Hub

Look out too for how you can get involved in the rearranged 2020 English Tourism Week, which is leading the national campaign to Protect Tourism’s Future. English Tourism Week is now set to take place from 25 – 31 May. See here for more details.

Business Support & Financial Support
Since our last newsletter to members, there have been a number of new announcements from government and other agencies on the support and financial assistance available to businesses and workers in the UK – not least the newly extended Job Retention (Furlough) Scheme; new Bounce Back Loans Scheme and new Discretionary Fund, designed to support those small businesses that previously fell outside of the business grant fund scheme.

As ever, we recommend using the government’s business support portal to access the latest information and updates, or the new business support finder tool here.