Chamber News
 August 2013

Growing Business in Cheltenham


Enterprise Hubs to Support
Start-up Businesses 

(Above: Opening of the Isbourne Enterprise Hub in Cheltenham: from left: Stephen Marston, Vice-Chancellor at the University of Gloucestershire (UoG), Michael Ratcliffe, Cheltenham Chamber CEO, Basil Omar, Enterprise and Incubation Manager (UoG), Wendy Flynn, Mayor of Cheltenham; photo, John Ryan, University of Gloucestershire)

The University of Gloucestershire has unveiled the new Enterprise Hub at Isbourne House in Cheltenham on Tuesday 15 July. Martin Horwood MP, a supporter of incubation and innovation, paid a visit to the new Enterprise Hub before the official opening, and was shown around the new facilities by Michael Ratcliffe, Chief Executive of Cheltenham Chamber of Commerce, and Dr Basil Omar, Enterprise and Incubation Manager (UoG). Read more.

Chamber Fights for Full-time A&E at Cheltenham Hospital
Possible Judicial Review Looming
by Kevin Daws

Cheltenham Chamber of Commerce have vowed to continue the fight for a full time A&E Department at Cheltenham General Hospital, following yesterday’s ‘flawed decision’ by the Gloucestershire Care Commissioning Group (GCCG) to divert all Emergency Ambulances from Cheltenham General Hospital to Gloucestershire Royal Hospital from 8.00pm to 8.00am every day.
“Yesterday’s decision by the GCCG was not only a flawed decision it was the wrong decision for residents across Gloucestershire.” commented Michael Ratcliffe, Chief Executive of Cheltenham Chamber of Commerce (right). “We fear that the decision to reduce the A&E service at Cheltenham was taken some time ago.” Read more.(photo: Brian Chaplin, Eurovideo)
President's Message 
by Martin Quantock 
President, Cheltenham Chamber of Commerce,
and Manager, Cheltenham Business Partnership

After being elected President of the Cheltenham Chamber of Commerce in May of this year, I hope you will forgive me for taking this opportunity to share a few thoughts with you.
I have taken up the Presidency of the Chamber at a very interesting and opportunistic time. The recent cessation of the Gloucestershire Chamber of Commerce, after becoming subsumed by GWE Business West, has given a greater importance for the local Chambers and business organisations within Gloucestershire to ensure the voices of local businesses are heard loud and clear. I am determined that the Cheltenham Chamber will take up this responsibility and play its part for the good of the businesses in Cheltenham.  Obviously it is essential that the Chamber understands the requirements and priorities of its membership. It is therefore very important that if you have any thoughts on how best the Chamber can remain a valuable and relevant resource to the membership, you make them known by dropping a line to the Chamber office. If you prefer to speak with members of the Executive Board, including myself, there are plenty of events where this is possible – particularly at the many high quality networking events run by the chamber throughout the year. The Chamber is here to serve you, the membership, please ensure that you benefit by making use of it!
Thank you for your time – I look forward to meeting up with you soon.(photo: Brian Chaplin, Eurovideo)
Member Profile: Sue Blatchford
 Managing Director 
Hilden House and Hilden Lodge
Cheltenham is blessed with fine hotels and leisure spots. Whether grand mansions or attractive B&Bs, Cheltenham’s hotels are one of the most sought after features of the Cotswolds. With prime locations in the town centre and the outskirts of Cheltenham, Hilden House and Hilden Lodge are examples of these excellent hotel offerings. They are owned and managed by Sue Blatchford. We caught up with Sue to ask about her business ambitions and the current economic climate for the travel and leisure industry in Cheltenham and the rest of Gloucestershire. Read more.

Rail Plan Awarded £3 million Funding
(Jack Maidment, reporter, Southwest Business Online/Gloucestershire Echo)
Ambitious plans for the £20 million re-development of Cheltenham Spa Station have taken a major step forward. Transport chiefs yesterday decided to award more than £3 million of funding to the improvement plan, which would see a massive revamp of the station. Two new platforms would provide a terminus for trains to and from London Paddington and Wales, freeing up the existing platforms to reduce frustrating delays. Read more.

Local Enterprise Partnership (LEP) Growth Plan
Jon Whitbread, Partner, Harrison Clark Rickerbys

Jon Whitbread, Partner at solicitors Harrison Clark and former President of the Cheltenham Chamber of Commerce, provides a monthly update of the Local Enterprise Partnership's (LEP) Business Membership Group (BMG) in which he represents Cheltenham. This month Jon highlights the LEP Growth Plan for Gloucestershire and the opportunities for individuals and businesses to get involved in its development. For a full update on some of the most recent developments and news, please have a look at the LEP press releases. To provide feedback on these and other LEP activities, please contact the Chamber office. (photo: Brian Chaplin, Eurovideo)

Cheltenham Borough Council is continually striving to improve the quality of life in the town and increase its economic prosperity. Part of this vision involves making a number of changes to the road network in the town centre, known as the Cheltenham Transport Plan. If implemented, these proposals will help bring a number of benefits to the town.
Gloucestershire Borough Council is consulting on the proposals in the Cheltenham Transport Plan and would like to know what you think. You can do this in a number of ways.

Please visit: and complete the online questionnaire (survey) or pdf version on the Chamber website. Completed paper questionnaires can either be handed in at the Municipal Offices, at the consultation events or returned in the freepost envelope provided.
All responses must be received by 1st September 2013.

Free 30-minute Clinic for New Family Clients

The family team at Hughes Paddison are pleased to offer an initial 30 minute consultation for all new family clients free of charge. If you wish to book a no obligation free meeting with one of our experienced family team, please contact us on 01242 574 244 or email Diane Kemple or Katie Buswell. 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. newslettter, 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.

Some of the notable attendees enjoying the Cricket Festival, including (above) County Councillor Mark Hawthorne, Chamber CEO Michael Ratcliffe and Gloucestershire Echo Editor Kevan Blackadder. (photo: Brian Chaplin, Eurovideo)

A Day Out at the Brewin Dolphin Cheltenham Cricket Festival

On Tuesday 16th July, members of the Cheltenham Chamber attended the Brewin Dolphin Cheltenham Cricket Festival between Gloucestershire CC and Northamptonshire CC. It was a sun-soaked day which saw the visitors pile on the runs late in their innings. Gloucestershire got within touching distance in the afternoon session but came up short in an action-packed match in front of a crowded cricket ground. Despite the loss, members were treated to the excellent  hospitality of the Cheltenham Rugby Club, which included a welcome by Club Administrator David Evans,a delicious lunch and networking opportunities. Many thanks to all who attended and the Rugby Club for an enjoyable day out. (photos: Brian Chaplin, Eurovideo)
Have You Heard...?  

It’ll be your office away from the office!

The Cheltenham Chamber will open its new Business Centre in September! Access to computer, printer, work spaces, conference room facility and much more! More information in next month’s newsletter. (photo: Brian Chaplin, Eurovideo)

Upcoming Events

Seminar: Settlement Agreements and
Pre-Determined Negotiations

Wednesday 4th September, 2013

8.00am - 10.00am
Venue: Ellenborough House, Cheltenham
RSVP: Francesca Mathews
RSVP by: Friday 23rd August, 2013 
(Read more)

Members Offers

Chance to win a FREE 3 Month
Fitness4Less Membership!

Email  by Friday 16th August 2013, for a chance to win a FREE 3 month membership at Fitness4Less Cheltenham. Read more.

New Members


Durkan Cahill Ltd. is an independent insolvency practice providing insolvency advice to both corporate bodies and individuals. The core aims of the practice are to provide practical advice and assistance to companies and individuals in financially distressed situations in a friendly and professional manner. 


We provide daily hot yoga classes in a purpose built facility aiding in weight loss, injury recovery and mental well being. The facility boasts a health cafe, sports therapy treatments and all amenities to support your workout.

ContactSPENCER KEEN, Barrister

Spencer Keen, Barrister, advises solicitors, companies and individuals on commercial disputes, contract law and on all aspects of employment law with a particular emphasis on discrimination. 


Urban Lighthouse are a business marketing consultancy and multi-disciplined website design agency. Specialists in packaging design, E-commerce (own store, Amazon, Ebay and Facebook stores) and integration with Salesforce and other CRM applications.


Bridge House is a family run B&B offering warm and welcoming hospitality. Each of the five en-suite rooms has been personally built and furnished, to our own design, to create a home-from-home atmosphere for your comfort. 


BookCheck Ltd. provides clients with Book-keeping, Management Accounts and Payroll Services which are accurate and timely, working professionally and courteously, striving to exceed clients’ expectations and delivering in strict conformance with the company’s quality standards.

Cheltenham Town Community, Education and Sporting Trust Ltd
Contact: Simon Perruzza

Cheltenham Town Community, Education & Sporting Trust provides sport and education programmes across Gloucestershire and the Cotswolds, encouraging children, young people, adults and families to participate regardless of individual circumstances. All our activities are fully endorsed and supported by the Directors at Cheltenham Town FC.

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