Chamber News
 October 2013

Growing Business in Cheltenham

Business Centre Launched!

The new Cheltenham Chamber of Commerce Business Centre was officially launched by Michael Ratcliffe, Chamber CEO (above left) and Martin Horwood, MP (above right) on 19th September. “We’re very pleased to provide the Business Centre," said Michael Ratcliffe, "which we think will be a great help to the business community in Cheltenham, particularly for small and medium-sized companies and organisations.”

MP Martin Horwood supported the Chamber's forward thinking initiatives in launching its Business Centre and Business Seminar Series, and commented on how the centre will make life easier for Cheltenham businesses, particularly its hot-desking and video-conferencing facilities.

The previous week, Mayor Wendy Flynn attended the Media Day, which garnered considerable coverage in the local press. Please see Reginald Lee's 
video report of the launch ceremony and the broadcast on Cotswold TV Video. (Photo and launch ceremony video: Reginald Lee).
Member Profile: Chris Pearson
Director of Marketing and Production, Cheltenham Festivals

If you ask any casual observer what gives Cheltenham a special buzz between April and October each year, the ready answer would be the Cheltenham Festivals. With its colourful banners adorning the town’s streets, the Festivals growth in importance from its origins in 1945 has been impressive. Selling over 215,000 tickets and providing more than 1,000 events each year, it has now become significant to the town's identity and economic well-being. Even in difficult conditions, it has grown attendance each year and attracted top headliners from across the globe in the fields of Music, Science, Jazz and Literature. Along with the Racecourse’s Gold Cup, the Festivals have become a jewel in the crown of Cheltenham's tourism industry and a landmark on the UK cultural calendar.

Contributing to its success since 2010, the Festivals’ Director of Marketing and Production, Chris Pearson, has been described as one of the smartest direct marketing people in the business. With a mixture of affable charm and a no-nonsense, eye on the bottom-line approach, Chris is the perfect blend of business and culture which the Festivals embodies.
We caught up with Chris to ask him about his career, the growing success of the Festivals and its importance to the Cheltenham. 
Read more.

Based in the heart of Regency Cheltenham, The Times Cheltenham Literature Festival is a vibrant mix of storytelling, fiction, poetry, and history; welcoming some of the biggest names from the worlds of politics, the arts and comedy as well as providing fun for all the family.

 ‘It’s not just about books: it’s about television, it’s about film, it’s about theatre, it’s about art, it’s about medicine, it’s just about everything’, Festival Speaker.

The Festival is a world-class event of true diversity, offering 10 very special days of challenge, inspiration, surprise and, of course, fun. 
It’s a vibrant mix of storytelling, fiction, poetry, and history; welcoming some of the biggest names from the worlds of politics, the arts and comedy as well as providing fun for all the family. Go online for the full exciting line up at

Tickets on sale now: book online or call 0844 880 8094. 

Flying the Flag for Local Business
Update by Kevin Daws 

The last few months continued to be extremely busy for the Chamber. We have:
  • Launched our new Business Centre by Mayor Wendy Flynn and officially opened on 19th September with special guest, Martin Horwood MP
  • Spoken out and lead the charge against the downgrading of the A&E Department at Cheltenham General Hospital (emergency ambulances are currently being diverted to Gloucester Royal Hospital between 8.00 pm and 8.00 am everyday). 
  • Engaged positively with the consultation on the Cheltenham Transport Plan and support it in principle subject to a number of our concerns being addressed.
  • Increased our Twitter followers by 1000% over the past five months by raising our profile with local media outlets and engaging with our membership and business community. Thank you for your support and please keep following us on Twitter (@Cheltchamber) and Facebook!
In October, we will be:
  • Launching a series of business seminars on Thursday 3rd October that kick-off with Geraldine McCullagh’s seminar, ‘Learn Ways to Get FREE Publicity from the Media, Get Exposure for Your Company and Attract More Customers!’
  • Providing a 'Meet the Chamber' networking event (see Upcoming Events, opposite) Thursday, 10th October at 6pm, Manor by the Lake. (Bookings)
  • Launching our new and exciting website which will increase the range of services we can offer to local businesses and Chamber members
If you would like to keep up to date with the Chamber and discuss promotional and sponsorship opportunities, contact us on tel. 01242 252626 or e-mail


Trustees Needed for Cheltenham's Leisure and Culture Trust
Cheltenham Borough Council is looking for people who are keen to become voluntary trustees of a new charitable trust, provisionally named ‘Cheltenham Leisure and Culture Trust’. 

When it is fully operational, the trust will take over the management and operation of some of Cheltenham's iconic cultural venues - Cheltenham Town Hall, Cheltenham Art Gallery and Museum, Pittville Pump Room, as well as running Leisure@, the Prince of Wales Stadium, tourism and the Cheltenham's Tourist Information Centre.
Read more.

Successful Networking Event at BMW Mini Cotswold Group

A good time was had by all who attended the recent BMW & Mini Cotswold Group Dealership on Tewkesbury Road. Members enjoyed an evening of fine wine and refreshments and were introduced to BMW’s newest electric car, i3. Cotswold Group also presented to members their plans for a new showroom, which will be located near GCHQ and will potentially bring 100 jobs to the town. The highlight of the evening was the drawing of a BMW or Mini for the weekend. Pictured with Joanne Tyler (left), BMW Corporate Sales Manager, and Chamber Deputy CEO, Jon Leamon (right), the lucky winner Adrian Malpass, a leadership development consultant. 

New Website Coming Soon!
by Kevin Daws
The Chamber shall soon be launching a new and improved website in October. The website will not only keep you better informed about the Chamber's activities but also provide you with a number of opportunities to promote your business. These include:
  • Members' news 
  • Sponsorship
  • Advertising
  • Online membership 
  • Events
  • And much more!
Stay tune for the October announcement! If you have interest in participating in any promotional communications and sponsorship opportunities, please contact Jon Leamon.

Commercial Lawyer Takes New Role
at Willans

Willans LLP, a leading Gloucestershire law firm, is delighted to announce the appointment of Peter Raybould to its Legal 500–rated company commercial department. Peter, who is five years’ qualified, trained and worked in the corporate and commercial department at The Wilkes Partnership in Birmingham, after studying at The University of Sheffield. Read more.
Free Publicity for Your Company
Do you want some free publicity? If you're a fully-paid Chamber member and have a newsworthy story about a product launch, a significant customer acquisition or something special happening in your business, we can help you promote your news through the Chamber communications (e.g. newsletter, Twitter, Facebook). Just let us know! Take advantage of this key benefit of membership to build awareness of your company at no cost!. Send your submissions to the Chamber office today. (photo: Brian Chaplin, Eurovideo)
Keep up to date on business in Cheltenham via Twitter (@CheltChamber), Facebook and
Chamber website.

Upcoming Events

Business Seminar Series
(October - December 2013)

Cheltenham Chamber's new Seminar Series has kicked-off with the well-known Radio & TV presenter, Geraldine McCullagh (above), who gave the first in the series of engaging presentations for local businesses. Below is a listing of upcoming seminars, which are free for members, £5 non-members; Bookings (01242 252626). Venue: Chamber Business Centre Conference Room. Please enter through Wolseley House, GL51 1TH, and sign in at reception. Spaces are limited. Read more.
Learn Ways to Get Free Publicity from the Media, Get Exposure for Your Company and Attract More Customers
Geraldine McCullagh
Thursday 3 October

Learn about Opportunities to
Trade in China

Candy Yu and Mitchell Wolfe, Yuan Ltd.
Thursday 17 October

Savvy Social Networking Can Connect You with the Right Customers that are Just Right for Your Business
Angela De Souza, King's Daughters
Thursday 31 October

Learn to Develop an Effective Marketing Plan that Meets Your Marketing Budget and Help Your Business Succeed
Darren Stevens 
Prestbury Marketing & Consulting Ltd
Thursday 14 November

Making the most of Your Jobcentre
Cartriona Murray, Jobcentre Plus
Thursday 28 November

Improve the Right Customer Experiences: Learn What You Need to Do and How
Jerry Angrave
Empathyce Customer Experience
Thursday 5 December
Meet the Chamber Networking Event
Thursday 10 October, 6pm
The Cheltenham Chamber of Commerce is pleased to announce a unique networking event for members and their guests hosted by one of Cheltenham's premier venues, Manor by the Lake, who are sponsoring the evening. This special event enables members, when accompanied by a non-member business colleague, to attend free of charge with their guests. Members may also bring additional non-members, but please let us know all your guests details when registering. Tickets are available for £5 per person.
Combining classic elegance with modern comforts, Manor by the Lake is an exceptionally stylish, picture-perfect venue which provides an enchanting and engaging setting for any occasion. The Chamber would like to thank Manor by Lake for their continued support and hosting this not-to-be missed event. To register, please contact
Pauline Harris, 01242 252 626. For information about Manor by the Lake, read more. (map).
We look forward to seeing you on 10th October!

Cheltenham & Gloucester 
Rugby Business Network Event

Thursday, 10 October 2013 from 18:30 to 20:30 

Including panel discussion with Adam Balding (former Glouc. and England International, above left), Will James (Glouc. and Welsh Int'l, right), Simon Bailey (Rugby for Heroes) et al.
Fullwood House
University of Gloucestershire

RSVP: Mike Simmonds
T: 01242 714423
(Read more)

Essential IP & IT Issues
Thursday 10th October, 7.30am - 10.00am

Ellenborough House, Wellington Street, Cheltenham
Francesca Mathews 
(Read more)

Employment Law ‘On the Go’
Breakfast Seminars

What Employers Need to Know about Tribunal Claims

Tues 12 November 2013
7.30 am - 9 am

Venue: Willans’ office at 34 Imperial Square, Cheltenham, GL50 1RH
£15 per seminar (incl VAT). Receive a special rate of £30 if you book three seminars.

For Willans's Events, read more.
Email:;  Tel: 01242 514000.

St. Vincents and
St. Georges Association
Charity Auction

15 November 2013
7.30 pm - 10 pm

There will be a charity auction in aid of St Vincents and St Georges Associationorganised by Santander Bank, Cheltenham. The Chamber kindly asks members to donate items, or a voucher, for the auction. Funds raised will go towards raised flower beds, a wheelchair pathway and a sensory garden. Each auction lot will be individually listed in a catalogue and the donor clearly identified for advertisement.
Sacred Hearts Church Hall
Charlton Kings, Cheltenham

Light supper provided, bar available.
Tickets: £10 each
Available from Santander Bank, Cheltenham or
Maralyn Reynolds, 01242 238429 or Email:

Intranet Future in UK's Top 10
Social Media Blogs

Chamber member Jonathan Pollinger's Intranet Future blog has been named as one of the UK's Top 10 Social Media Blogs by Cision UK. Jonathan commented, "I'm thrilled with the ranking and would like to thank all those individuals and businesses who have read and engaged with the Intranet Future blog." 

Intranet Future is a social media consultancy which inspires businesses to listen, connect and engage using social networks like Facebook, Twitter, Google+, LinkedIn, Foursquare and Pinterest. It encourages whole organisations to be more social; from the way employees communicate and collaborate to how businesses obtain leads and service their customers. Further information, read more.

New Members

Hero Eco Ltd

Contact: Mark Loveridge

We are a UK distributor for Hero Eco electric bicycle brands A2B and Fast4ward. Our bikes are designed and developed in Germany with manufacturing spread across China, Taiwan and Germany. Electric bicycles are great fun to ride, ensure you never build up a sweat when climbing hills and are the cheapest form of powered transport available. 

Gloucestershire Construction
Training Group
Harold Symonds

The Gloucestershire Construction Training Group, affiliated to the CITB, helps train the construction industry in a variety of skills and health and safety first aid and other areas.


Members Offers

Off-Peak Annual Membership Offer
Unbeatable value membership offer at Fitness4Less Cheltenham  for all Cheltenham Chamber members! Read more. Join by 12 pm on Thursday 31st October on annual off-peak membership at only £99 for the year and receive the following great benefits:
  • FREE 30 minute Personal Training session 
  • 5 x FREE day guest passes for friends and family
For off-peak access hours and no contract peak membership details, please visit Contact: Petya Collins

REaCH Volunteers Needed!

REaCH (Restore Emergency at Cheltenham Hospital) and the Cheltenham Chamber of Commerce are looking to recruit two volunteers to help bolster support against the reduced emergency coverage. The two positions required are Social Media and Website Officer and Administrator and Events Organiser. If interested, please contact Michael Ratcliffe (01242 544 549;

Advertising and Sponsorship
Members can secure advertising space at advantageous rates and participate in sponsorship deals which will be available on the upcoming new Chamber website and other areas. Make a smart move by including the Chamber in your marketing plans for 2013! Contact the Chamber office (01242 252 626) for details.

Copyright © 2013 Cheltenham Chamber of Commerce, All rights reserved.
Please note: deadline for submissions is the 24th of each month.

Edited by Dan Harris, HymnSheet Ltd.