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Empty shops on Cheltenham High Street get face lift

The Business Magazine article image for: Empty shops on Cheltenham High Street get face lift
17 February 2023
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One of the shops on Cheltenham High Street, which has been vacant for more than four years, has recently had a face lift thanks to Cheltenham BID.

The property at 104 High Street, which used to be occupied by Sports Direct, had become an eyesore, attracting graffiti and antisocial behavior. Working with Cheltenham Borough Council and Cheltenham Civic Society, the BID engaged with the landlord and repairs were completed earlier this year.  This has enabled the BID to make the frontage more attractive, not just for the public but also for potential investors. 

In the past 12 months, parts of Cheltenham have drawn in some high-end and well-known brands, including Sweaty Betty, Franco Manca and Bosco as well as being attractive to independent businesses like Nagomi and Beefy Boys.  Other areas of the town are less attractive and properties tend to remain vacant for long periods of time.

The pavements on the stretch of the High Street known as The Strand, as well as Cambray Place, are in a dilapidated state, presenting an unattractive environment and hindering potential investment opportunities.

Ex Sports Direct window 2Heath Gunter, chief executive of Cheltenham BID said: ‘’We understand that the pavement situation is not within our control as it is the responsibility of Gloucestershire County Council. However, we are committed to making improvements to the area and enhancing the town for everyone. From bringing multiple events and the Umbrella Project, to installing vinyls on empty storefronts and improved Christmas lights, we have been actively working to make a positive impact to this area of the town. We will continue to collaborate with Cheltenham Civic Society and lobby local authorities to create a more vibrant and inviting public realm for everyone.’’

The BID has a project underway which will see the ineffective and filthy bird netting on the corner of Grosvenor Terrace replaced and the area cleaned. The work will be carried out in a way that is humane and at the same time discourages the birds from choosing that as their nesting site.

As well as installing the vinyls on the old Sports Direct store, the BID is working with the landlord of the old Argos store which has been empty for a long time, and vinyls will soon be covering the windows of that property too.


Nicky Godding is editor of The Business Magazine. Before her journalism career, she worked mainly in public relations moving into writing when she was invited to launch Retail Watch, a publication covering retail and real estate across Europe.

After some years of constant travelling, she tucked away her passport and concentrated on business writing, co-founding a successful regional business magazine. She has interviewed some of the UK’s most successful entrepreneurs who have built multi-million-pound businesses and reported on many science and technology firsts.

She reports on the region’s thriving business economy from start-ups, family businesses and multi-million-pound corporations, to the professionals that support their growth and the institutions that educate the next generation of business leaders.

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