The South West Richard Crabb: In My View

Kraft HQ and a major site close to the Promenade both by Pegasus and re-development of the Pate Court office scheme just north of the High Street by Churchill. Pate Court was a reasonable 25 year old office scheme and the sale for residential reflects the high residential values and demand which Permitted Development has allowed to take over from office use.

The major drop in office supply has kicked up office rental values and new build offices are once again viable. Alongside Waitrose Formal Investments are building the first new office building of any scale in the town for about 15 years at Honeybourne Place which provides 63,000 sq ft and the rent of £30 p.s.f. reflects the change in rental values over a relatively short period.

Richard Crabb partner of THP On Line reports “2018 was a strong year for the local area with significant investment in a number of Cheltenham schemes which helped keep the town vibrant. The new John Lewis and second phase of the Brewery schemes at opposite ends of the High Street bringing a boost to a difficult retail climate. Each has boosted demand in the locality and we hear the heat may be going out of the Promenade with requirements shifting to the warm glow of John Lewis.

It is rare now to hear a positive headline about retail, but the town`s retail offer is strong and I think the main change will be some peripheral retail changing to other uses such as clinics, leisure, offices or residential. Retirement seems evergreen with schemes for the over 50`s (which used to seem quite old to me….) in the old

Cheltenham bid

Gloucestershire County Council to improve the state of the public realm in the town.

That has led to the first stage of significant upgrading of High Street, with further works demanded for the coming year. The street now has two powerful “bookends” that will shape future regeneration.

At one end is the £23million John Lewis and Partners store, opened to wide acclaim in October and the newest in the country.

At the other is the town’s leisure complex, The Brewery Quarter, which has benefitted from £30 million improvements. In the last year, in-demand dining brands The Botanist and Five Guys have moved in but it now also has a retail hub, with top new names like Urban Outfitters and Luke 1977.

Cheltenham has also been encouraging offices to invest in the town and, early this year, The Brewery Quarter will see the significant arrival of the new national headquarters of beauty brand SLG.

Every town and city needs to ensure it is as equipped as it can be for what is likely to be another rollercoaster of a year.

Whether it is Brexit or the future pressures on the High Street that are causing most uncertainty, it isn’t going to be an easy ride.

In Cheltenham, the Business Improvement District (BID) has been lobbying both Cheltenham Borough Council and


They will bring 120 staff to the heart of the town centre, creating permanent footfall for other businesses. There is significant interest in another large office space next to the John Lewis store, which will have the same impact.

All of which is good news for a sector which is set to rival retail as Cheltenham’s main identity – food. An explosion of both independent and national restaurants saw the town achieve three top rankings in Harden’s, the acclaimed national restaurant guide.


Industrial demand remains firm with limited supply. L&G bought the Kingsditch Trade Park to add to the existing ownership in the area and have been building the first scheme of new build trade counter/industrial units for many years. So where are we in the early weeks of 2019? There was some unease as we came to the end of 2018 with Brexit now just round the corner (well, in theory…).

Certainly it is in everyone`s mind but so far there are enquiries and interest out there and for someone to be enquiring with so much else going on they must be serious and good deals are still being done.

There is a theory that once we have an outcome to Brexit of almost any description and we know where we are, there will be a bounce with investment and decisions which were held back being released. I like the sound of that theory.”

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