Businesses in town centres in the Cotswold District are being encouraged to take up the offer of free business support before the scheme runs out.
From Cotswold District Council
The recent Council appointment of Heartflood as independent experts in town and city centres to provide advice, information and signposting to a range of Cotswold businesses is shortly due to come to an end.
Businesses in Cirencester, Tetbury, Northleach, Bourton-on-the-Water, Stow-on-the-Wold, Moreton-in-Marsh, South Cerney, Fairford, Lechlade and Chipping Campden are therefore urged to register in the coming days for free advice and support on a range of key recovery factors.
Heartflood has already provided over 50 businesses with diagnostic appointments and provided targeted advice and signposting based on individual business needs.
Businesses within each centre are being asked to contact Heartflood before the project ends in early May.
To book a diagnostic appointment, or for further information regarding this project, please download Heartflood’s guide to Town Centre Business Support Services in the Cotswold District.
Paul James, Economic Development Lead at Cotswold District Council, said: “It’s great to see our town centres open again and people out enjoying everything they have to offer. Many of our businesses have had a tough time over the last year and we want to make sure they are accessing all of the support available to them as they get back on their feet.
“If you are a local business and would like more information on the scheme, please email email@example.com or call us on 01285 623000.”
Businesses in the Cotswolds will benefit from a new programme to boost their digital skills and help them to adapt to a changing business landscape as Covid-19 restrictions ease.
Cotswold District Council in partnership with the Cotswolds Tourism Destination Management Organisation (DMO) will help local businesses innovate and adapt to a post-pandemic world. The DMO promotes the area, attractions and businesses to potential visitors both domestically and internationally.
Robert Weaver, Chief Executive, Cotswold District Council, said; “Visitors to the Cotswolds play a big role in our local economy and numbers have fallen dramatically over the last year due to the restrictions imposed to control the pandemic.
“With light at the end of the tunnel and restrictions easing, we are looking to help businesses grow and innovate to get our local visitor economy back on its feet.
“Cotswolds Tourism DMO does fantastic work to support businesses in the local visitor economy and the plans being put in place will help the District recover strongly and be more resilient for the future.”
The local visitor economy plays a key role in the district’s economy with an estimated £360m being spent in the local area in 2019 and around 17% of the total employment in the district related to tourism, or around 5,300 jobs.
Across the country, the visitor economy has taken a large hit over the past year as visitor numbers have decreased by an estimated 76% and spend dropped by 80% compared to 2019.
As restrictions ease, the highly regarded Cotswolds Tourism DMO has plans in place to help local business recover through new initiatives including training and support especially around digital marketing skills to rebuild the sector and enable businesses to adapt to the changing landscape as a result of the pandemic. These include a major digital marketing campaign to promote local businesses and bookable online experiences.
This builds on the support they have provided to businesses across the last year.
The Councils cabinet has approved setting up a new advisory board with other partners in the Cotswolds Tourism DMO to oversee the work in the coming months.
Training modules available at www.cotswolds.com/training
As the local elections approach on Thursday 6 May 2021, Cotswold District Council is preparing to make sure all polling stations available for those who wish to vote in person are safe and Covid secure.
Voting in person will be different this year with polling stations following the covid secure rules seen across shops and other indoor locations during the pandemic. This will include voters wearing masks, using hand sanitiser, social distancing and making sure items touched in the polling booths are cleaned.
Staff will also be taking the necessary precautions to keep safe and have received additional training to help advise and support voters.
Voters are encouraged to bring their own masks and pen or pencil on the day to reduce wastage on the day, however, for those that need them they will be available.
Some polling stations have had to change due to some usual polling locations being unsuitable during the pandemic and so voters are being urged to check their poll cards to make sure they know where their polling station is.
Residents are also being encouraged to make sure they are registered to vote, and if they want to, have applied for postal or proxy voting ahead of the rapidly approaching deadlines.
Residents can register to vote through the Government website which takes only five minutes to complete.
Residents can apply for postal voting now and have to get their application in before the deadline of 5 pm on 20 April and to be able to vote by proxy, applications must be in by 5 pm on Tuesday 27 April.
Application forms for postal and proxy voting can be downloaded from the Electoral Commission or voters can visit the council website at cotswold.gov.uk/registertovote or contact us on 01285 623002.
Jan Britton, Returning Officer for Cotswold District District said, “We are taking all the steps needed to make sure voters this year are safe at the polling stations and feel comfortable voting in person.
“People will by now be familiar with the precautions we must all take to prevent the spread of Covid-19 and our polling stations will be no different. If people can bring their own masks and pens we would really appreciate it.
“As a final reminder, I would urge everyone wanting to vote to make sure they have registered ahead of the required deadlines so that they have the chance to have their say in this year’s local elections.”
“For anyone interested in voting by post this year they need to make sure we have received their application for their postal vote before 5 pm on the 20 April. We are quickly approaching the deadline and I would encourage people to sign up sooner rather than later.”
|Leisure centres across the district are set to reopen from Monday 12 April, after receiving the Government’s go-ahead for Step 2 of the roadmap.|
|Everyone Active’s leisure centres in Cirencester, Bourton-on-the-Water and Chipping Campden in partnership with Cotswold District Council, will reopen their doors following a three-month closure due to the coronavirus pandemic.
The Government confirmed on Monday 5 April that leisure centres would be safe to reopen with strict operational measures in place. This is the latest stage of the four-step roadmap plan
For details about which facilities can reopen in each step and the latest guidance, click here. Centre specific detail will be available on each centre’s website and social media page.
Everyone Active has committed to keeping its customers safe and active, ensuring it will meet and exceed Government guidelines to prevent the spread of Covid-19 with the Everyone Active Pledge. Full detail on the operator’s pledge and safety measures can be found here.
During lockdowns, Everyone Active has provided a comprehensive package of online workouts for people to use, along with live-streamed classes across its social media pages.
Jamie Nesbit, Everyone Active’s contract manager, said: “We’re very much looking forward to reopening our centres and welcoming back the local community. After being closed for three months, the latest step in the Government’s Roadmap is a positive move forward for the leisure industry and gives people of all ages the opportunity to resume activity and exercise in their leisure centre.
“Ensuring our colleagues and customers remain safe continues to be our number one priority and we have carefully considered the strict measurements to ensure we adhere to the guidance. We will be contacting all customers directly over the coming days regarding the centres reopening. We look forward to welcoming everyone back and thank them for their patience.”
Jacqueline Wright, Cotswold District Council’s Community Wellbeing manager, said: “We’re looking forward to welcoming residents back to leisure facilities safely – they will give everyone a real boost after months in lockdown.
“While it is important to stay safe, keeping fit and healthy is equally important and this is a major step towards that for our communities.”
For further information on Everyone Active and its leisure centres, visit www.everyoneactive.com.