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ECONOMY: Gloucestershire council leaders pleased to see signs of economic recovery

ECONOMY: Gloucestershire council leaders pleased to see signs of economic recovery

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Council leaders say they are pleased to see early signs of an economic bounce back in Cheltenham with dozens of new food businesses setting up shop in the town over the last year.

Cheltenham Borough Council’s customer and regulatory services cabinet member Martin Horwood said local businesses were showing great resilience and contributing to the economic recovery from the coronavirus pandemic.

He told last night’s (September 14) cabinet meeting that there are now 1,025 registered food businesses in the town, up from 969 last year.

Cllr Martin Horwood (Leckhampton, Lib Dem) said: “Food businesses are very important to Cheltenham.

“We don’t have that many companies who are packaging and storing food.

“But we have an awful lot of restaurants and hotels and we all our favourites like the Wheatsheaf in Leckhampton which serves a cracking good pizza.

“You can have bhel puri at Bombay and Co on the lower High Street, you can have fine sea bass at Purselane. If you are rich enough, you can have a beautiful dinner at the Queens or at 131 on the Prom.

“We have a lot of food businesses and they are part of what makes Cheltenham a lovely, exciting and fascinating place to visit.

“The pandemic has also affected the high street and town centre. And that experience side of visiting a town is going to be more and more important as traditional retail comes under pressure and goes online.

“These food businesses are very important to our recovery from the pandemic and our economic future as well.

“I’m very pleased to tell cabinet colleagues that one year ago we had 969 registered food business in Cheltenham.

“One year on, we now have 1,025. So actually, there is recovery in this sector. This is a real demonstration of Cheltenham’s resilience and its recovery from the pandemic.”

Council leader Rowena Hay (Oakley, Lib Dem) said it was really good to see an increase in the number of businesses in the town during such a difficult time.

“Not just maintaining what we have but actually increasing in this period of time is incredibly encouraging,” she added.

Words: Carmelo Garcia, Local Democracy Reporter

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