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Gloucestershire Business News

Massive increase in visitor spend in Gloucester

The growing importance of Gloucester's role as a visitor attraction has been confirmed by the latest economic figures for the city.

Gloucester's visitor economy is gathering pace faster than any other area in the county. In 2016 visitors spent over £204 million in the city - a massive increase of 71 per cent from 2013.

Tourism now supports more than 4,000 jobs in the city, according to research presented to last night's Gloucester City Council cabinet meeting.

Last year a series of grants were awarded to regeneration projects and this year major progress will be achieved on developments such as Bakers Quay and Project Pilgrim.

Investment into the city's new £15.3 million bus station is set to finish this year while work at Gloucester Rail Station is due to pick up thanks to a successful bid for £3.7 million of funding from GFirst local enterprise partnership (LEP).

Meetings with hotel operators, developers and brands mean that visitor accommodation is also increasing, with Gloucester Quays' first Premier Inn due to open in summer 2018 and additional sites of interest for developers in the Docks, city centre and Kings Quarter.

Councillors were told progress has also been made by Gloucester's Business Improvement District (BID), which has drawn up a five-year programme and will invest £2.3 million. Not only will this support the bid for Purple Flag status, but it will also to help make the city a safer and more attractive place to visit, live and work.

The £1.49 million 'Great Place' grant from Arts Council England and the Heritage Lottery Fund and support from GFirst and VisitEngland will develop even more visitor facilities and attractions.

Lise Noakes, cabinet member for culture and leisure said: "There is an enormous amount of work being done by partners across the city to ensure we can make the most of our heritage and culture.

"Gloucester's visitor economy is one of the strongest areas for growth in the region. It's fantastic to see the efforts of so many being recognised by industry awards and investment.

"As well as encouraging visitors to explore the city we know and love, taking pride in our heritage and culture can play a vital role in the wellbeing of all who live and work here."

Pictures: Events like the Tall Ships Festival and Gloucester History Festival, which returns this year, have been a huge success for the city.

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