Hopes trial will help permanent plan as high street world changes
CHELTENHAM CHAMBER OF COMMERCE take a closer look at the work around High Street
TRANSFORMATIONAL work to Cheltenham’s high street continues at pace as the borough and county council’s wider vision to regenerate the public realm is made a reality.
At the Cheltenham Chamber of Commerce, we support the temporary changes to Boots Corner as a necessary experiment to gather data.
Our hope is that this trial will help inform a more permanent plan that benefits the high street, public safety, and local businesses.
Nicola Inchbald, local investor, gave us her thoughts on the changes: “Cheltine are major investors and in central Cheltenham.
“We really feel we must applaud both the borough and the county councils for their vision for improving accessibility and the retail experience already being seen by the temporary changes at Boots Corner.
“The area has been over dominated by vehicles and looked very sad for decades.
“It is great to see people using the benches and cycle racks even before the works were complete and the trees are a step in the right direction to enhancing an otherwise terribly harsh landscape.
“We hope that the county and borough can overcome some of the localised difficulties being experienced by some retailers, whilst continuing with the experiment and listening to the voice of those retailers who are already seeing the benefits of the scheme.”
Alongside the changes made at Boots Corner fountain area, the east of the high street will soon see the hoardings removed and the street’s natural stone paving, new seating and new trees and greenery being revealed.
Nicola continued: “With the opening of John Lewis just weeks away, we will await the impact on footfall and visitor numbers before making any short term decisions.
“We feel that the empirical evidence, once collated, will demonstrate the wider benefit for the high street and Promenade.”
Michael Ratcliffe, chief executive of Cheltenham Chamber of Commerce, added: “We are pleased some of Cheltenham’s most influential investors recognise and are seeing the wider benefits of both the temporary and permanent improvements made so far.
“The tone of the high street is chang- ing nationally and Cheltenham is no exception with shoppers demanding a wide retail and leisure offer. “The trial closure of Clarence Street has engaged commuters, businesses and residents and we’re listening to their concerns working with GCC to address as many as we can. “However, the trial is just one element to address the changing face of the high street. “We have a compelling commercial offer and are seeing real investment and vibrancy with the likes of the John Lewis concept store, India Jane, Oliver Bonas, The Botanist and Urban Outfitters investing in Cheltenham.”
To find out more about the Cheltenham Transport Plan and high street changes visit cheltenham.gov.uk.