Gloucester Chamber and GFirst LEP – the Local Enterprise Partnership for Gloucestershire
Set up by central Government in 2011 to work with local businesses, local voluntary organisations and local authorities, the role of GFirst LEP is to drive sustainable economic growth in the county, and by doing so, create jobs and business opportunities.
Representing business communities, public, voluntary and education sectors across the county, the GFirst LEP Board of Directors is represented by forward thinking leaders with a passion and commitment for success.
Gfirst engage with businesses right across the county through eleven Sector Groups, made up of experts from Gloucestershire’s leading business sectors and a Business Membership Group represents more than fifty institutes such as the Institute of Directors, CBI, NFU and local Chambers of Commerce, including Gloucester.
For more information about Gfirst LEP go to http://www.gfirstlep.com/gfirst-LEP/Home/
Loss of County Chamber means greater need for local Chambers
Recent changes at Business West have resulted in the closure of the Gloucestershire Chamber of Commerce offices and amalgamation with those of Bristol, Bath and Wiltshire.
We believe this increases the need for local Chambers of Commerce such as Gloucester and we are in on-going discussions with other local Chambers across the county to find ways of working more collaboratively in the future for the benefit of our respective members and the county at large.
Watch this space – as more news unfolds we’ll be posting it here!
Continued good relationship with other Chambers and City Council
At Gloucester Chamber we’re proud of our strong relationship with Gloucester City Council and hold regular meetings with Council Leaders to discuss key issues affecting Gloucester and its businesses.
Last month’s meeting included discussion on key issues such as how plans are progressing for Gloucester's role in 2015 as host to several Rugby World Cup fixtures with the obvious business opportunities this will create for city businesses.
You can find out more about the City Council’s plans for the Rugby World Cup by visiting http://www.gloucester.gov.uk/Pages/rwc-2015.aspx
Gloucester Chamber Christmas Event
As the festive season approaches, Gloucester Chamber’s traditional Christmas Dinner will take place on 13th December at the Parliament Rooms of Gloucester Cathedral.
Watch out for photos of the event which will be posted soon afterwards on our Photo Gallery.
Voice on Regeneration Advisory Board
The latest chapter in the City's regeneration began earlier this year when the new body which advises the City Council on the regeneration of Gloucester was officially launched.
The Gloucester Regeneration Advisory Board studies the work being carried out by Gloucester City Council - and provides advice, comment and feedback.
The move marks the next phase in the 'Gloucester story'. Responsibility for regeneration in the City now lies with the City Council, with advice from the new Board
Support your local Chamber of Commerce and become part of the City's most longstanding and respected business group and the voice of the City's business people - formed in 1892!
Here are just some of the reasons why you should join us:
1. We are the voice of the City's business people;
2. Through us you help shape Gloucester's future by contributing to our lobbying on behalf of local business people.
3. Promote your business through our online member directory.
4. Access business information through the Links on our website.
5. Access local suppliers, some at preferential terms.
6. Connect with other businesses.
We represent our members on the larger political and economic stage, working closely with the City Council and others on issues like business legislation, building programmes and regional transport.
We are active member in key forums including stakeholder groups, LSP (Local Strategic Partnership), Gloucestershire LEP (Local Enterprise Partnership) etc.
Good news for the Gloucester Economy
Last month saw publication of new research which revealed ‘good news for the Gloucester economy’ and a record number of new businesses in the first half of 2013. Below is an extract from the research:-
Research from Duport.co.uk reveals that there were 448 new companies set up in the January to June period - more than any other half year on record and a 10% rise on the same period in 2012.
Company closures also fell during the first half of the year, leading to an overall rise in net company growth (the number of company formations minus the number of company closures).
These positive figures follow on from several years of regeneration. The latest redevelopment project, the Gloucester Quays leisure complex, is due to be completed in December and will include a ten-screen cinema, as well as several restaurants and bars. It is hoped that the complex will provide a boost to the night time economy, preventing "leakage" of customers to neighbouring towns.
Managing Director of Duport, Peter Valaitis commented:
"There are some very exciting developments going on in Gloucester at the moment, which are clearly attracting more and more new companies to the area.
A more diverse business base should help strengthen the local economy and protect it against future economic shocks."
More information can be found at http://www.duport.co.uk/gloucester.
Activity in the city
The Morrison’s Supermarket at the Railway Triangle – built by local firm Barnwood Builders – opened on 11th November, with other development planned for the site. It may not be everyone’s perfect solution but there’s no doubt it’s a significant improvement on a derelict wasteland!
In addition both Asda and Boots have opened at Kingsway/Quedgeley over the past few months.
The Quays has really gathered pace in the second half of the year with two more restaurants opening last month, and more shops and more to follow before Christmas.
The 10 screen cinema opening at Gloucester Quays in early December is seen by many as a major catalyst for the area, pulling crowds to the locality to attend the 1200-seat venue.
Last year’s highly successful Victorian Market was be repeated on 21st to 24th November and on the last two days was extended into the ‘Gate’ streets of the city, with people dressed in Victorian outfits, music hall entertainment, and even a Victorian bobby on the beat!
Feedback from the main shopping malls in the city centre continues to be up-beat. The Mall has recently undergone a significant refurbishment, including installation of new passenger lifts. This up-date has been complemented by the arrival of a new café on the ground floor run by family-run chain Boswells, and occupancy rates remain very good.
At Kings Walk, the opening of a Costa Coffee was followed soon after by the opening of the Ultimate Party Shop, just in time for Halloween and the all-important Christmas period. Retro sweet shop Fizzy Lips will also open soon following their move from the Beechwood Shopping Centre in Cheltenham.
Figures from Kings Walk show that footfall is up weekly by 2.2 per cent on this time last year.
Work at other sites around Gloucester continues to slowly progress.