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Gloucestershire Business News

Cheltenham Task Force mapping road to recovery

Diane Savory will chair a task force of council and business figures designed to lead Cheltenham's economic response to the impact of the coronavirus pandemic.

The group, which met for the first time this week, takes over from the former Cheltenham Development Task Force.

Ms Savory, who also chairs the local enterprise partnership GFirst LEP, is a member of the national High Streets Task Force and ministerial-chaired Economic Recovery Workgroup.

She said: "The future of our high streets and town centres is a fundamental challenge facing our towns and cities.

"It requires a similarly bold response with strong local leadership and partnership working - which is exactly what the Cheltenham Economic Recovery Task Force provides.

"I'm delighted to have been asked to chair the group and look forward to doing all I can to help bring forward the kind of new thinking and innovation needed to future proof Cheltenham's town centre."

Initial priorities will support the continued safe reopening of the town and use of public spaces in line with government advice.

And the task force will be looking to a future approach to help secure the future vitality and economic growth of the town.

Cheltenham Borough Council leader Councillor Steve Jordan, who is also on the task force, said: "The vital importance of Cheltenham's town centre as a driver of economic recovery was strongly recognised throughout our recovery strategy, which we published in July.

"I'm delighted we've been able to bring partners together so quickly to form this task force and to drive this forward."

He continued: "There are challenges ahead - but there will be opportunities for those that are ready.

"With this kind of shared commitment and partnership approach, I'm confident Cheltenham will be ready - and will emerge stronger for the benefit of both our economy and our community."

The advisory body, which will meet every six weeks, will respond to funding opportunities and act as a vehicle for lobbying partners, stakeholders and government to drive the delivery of economic recovery interventions.

The task force also includes the council's chief executive Gareth Edmundson and director of planning Tracey Crews, together with Gloucestershire County Council cabinet members Nigel Moore and Patrick Molyneux and Nigel Jobson, director of Cheltenham-based social media platform Maybe* which one of 10 companies which form part of the Government's High Streets Task Force

They are joined by Dorian Wragg (Bruton Knowles), Darren Stevens (Prestbury Marketing), Antonia Shield (BPE Solicitors), Joe Roberts (Roberts Limbrick Architects), Madeline Howard (Cygenta/Young people), Nicola Inchbald (Cheltine), Ian George (Cheltenham Festivals/Cheltenham Culture Board) and Tim Atkins (Golden Valley Development).

They will be joined by representatives of voluntary and community partnerships.

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