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Gloucestershire Business News

Cheltenham is back! Locals and visitors encouraged to 'Find Your Happy Place'

Cheltenham has launched a new 'feel-good' campaign aimed at local residents and visitors to showcase all that is great about the town, as the nation eases out of lockdown today (Monday, May 17).

'Find Your Happy Place in Cheltenham' will celebrate the 're-opening' of Cheltenham as it finds its feet and gets back to business.

The campaign will interact with some of the town's business and hospitality owners, residents, visitors and key influencers to discover what they have missed most about Cheltenham during lockdown, the places and experiences that make them happy and what their hopes are for the coming year as the country navigates the roadmap for lifting restrictions.

As part of a wider campaign to encourage people to share their Happy Place in Cheltenham, a promo film featuring local businesses and some of Cheltenham's well-known attractions and open spaces will showcase how the town is safely welcoming the local community and visitors back this summer.

It will also highlight Cheltenham's renowned hospitality, feel-good vibe and all-round visitor offer as well as its distinctive sense of place and popularity as one of the UK's favourite places to live.

There will be an opportunity too for people to win over £1,000 worth of prizes including days out, overnight stays and meals out in a social media competition as part of the #HappyPlaceCheltenham campaign.

Today sees hotels, indoor attractions and hospitality finally reopen their doors after an unprecedented 12 months for the sector.

It will also kick-start Cheltenham's much anticipated, albeit different summer programme of events and activities following a year of cancellations, virtual performances or spectator-free events.

Roadmap permitting, the Cheltenham Food & Drink Festival, Balloon Fiesta, Cricket Festival, Music Festival and, later in the year, the Times & Sunday Times Cheltenham Literature Festival are just a few of the well-known and hugely popular festivals and events that are set to take place across the town this year.

Cllr Rowena Hay, leader of Cheltenham Borough Council, said: "We're delighted at the prospect of a brighter summer ahead, in every sense of the word. In what has been for many of us an incredibly difficult year like no other, the town can now focus on the future with a renewed sense of hope and purpose as we follow the roadmap out of lockdown.

''But it's also important to recognise that the pandemic has impacted on people's mental health and wellbeing, and as a result, people are going to feel anxious about the return to normality.

"That is why we also launched our Heads Up  campaign  last week to provide support and encouragement to help people find their happy place. For some this may mean having some quiet time in our amazing parks and gardens, volunteering with local community projects or socialising with friends.

"The campaign is all about welcoming locals and visitors alike back into the town to find and enjoy their happy place whilst, of course, still observing necessary safety measures."

Cllr Victoria Atherstone, cabinet member for economy and development, added: "Cheltenham is a thriving gem of the Cotswolds, renowned for its plethora of festivals, culture, restaurants, bars, hotels, history, events, shops, open parks & gardens, sporting activities - you name it - and at the heart of all of this is our vibrant community.

"Now is the time to showcase Cheltenham in all its glory as we look to the future and rebuild. There are so many exciting opportunities in Cheltenham right now, so we hope this campaign helps to harness this positivity and contributes to the growing business confidence across the town and to the health and wellbeing of our communities.''

Anna Garrod, at The Coconut Tree restaurant, said: "We love everything about Cheltenham. It's where we created our first Coconut Tree restaurant located near the Brewery Centre, set back in St Paul's.

"Our community has supported our every move and lately championed our collaboration with Rodger Widdecombe, the vicar at St Pauls' Church, allowing us to create The Coconut Tree 'Pop Up on the Lawn', it was all hands on deck to build an outdoor, 2000sq ft restaurant in days. This is what happens when our unique town comes together in a crisis. It's our home town, our happy place."

Lindsey Holland, of TURF Cheltenham , said: "TURF Cheltenham emerged because of the pandemic, with independent hospitality owners creating a dynamic community of their own to help get through what has turned out to be a pretty unique 18 months.

"Cheltenham itself has the most amazing hospitality scene and we're so proud of our part within it that it feels only right to be celebrating Cheltenham as our happy place!

"With over 40 independent hospitality businesses getting ready to welcome guests back, the excitement among TURF members is electric. We're all looking forward to a very happy summer in our #happyplacecheltenham.''

Cheltenham's campaign forms part of a wider programme of activity to support the high street and local businesses through the pandemic and has been supported by the national Reopening High Streets Safely Fund through the UK Government and European Regional Development Funding.

For more information on the campaign and how to get involved, please see Visit Cheltenham . If you're a business or organisation in the town and would like to access the asset pack and share your news & stories please visit the Marketing Cheltenham  website.

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