Big Boost for Cheltenham Icons

  • Cheltenham Trust

Cheltenham's best-loved landmarks and facilities stand to benefit in new plans from the Cheltenham Trust.

Cheltenham residents and visitors can look forward to significant improvements and investments in Cheltenham, thanks to an ambitious 'three year vision' from the Cheltenham Trust.

Julie Finch, CEO of the Cheltenham Trust, said: 'We have launched an ambitious vision that aims to encourage greater participation across all of our venues by local people and attract more visitors to the town, increasing our footfall by 300,000 to 1.6 million by 2020. We want to build on the town’s cultural offer by completing the transformation of Cheltenham Town Hall and the Wilson Art Gallery and Museum, to ensure we take our place on the international arts stage and attract major touring exhibitions.

'We also plan to set a new agenda for sports, health and wellbeing, with further investment in the Prince of Wales Stadium and Leisure At Cheltenham, which will enable us to engage with around 20% more people than we currently do. As a charity, all the money that we generate can be reinvested in our venues, further improving our offering to the residents, businesses and visitors of Cheltenham.'

Plans include:

  • Developing a full feasibility plan for Cheltenham Town Hall, which will then be used to secure major external funding to enable a multi-million-pound transformation. The aim is to ensure the Town Hall is developed to its full potential, preserving its heritage whilst opening it up to new audiences and future generations creating a distinctive, destination venue.
  • Development of a ‘Sport and Play Hub’. The first phase of this, due to be completed in January 2018, is supported by up to a £1.5 million loan from Cheltenham Borough Council through a public works loan board, and includes a range of improvements to Leisure At Cheltenham: conversion of the squash courts into new studios; upgrading the changing rooms; a new steam and sauna suite; extension to the fitness suite and gym; creation of an aquatic play space.
  • Leisure at Cheltenham will also benefit from an additional £350,000 in capital and revenue grants from Sport England and Gloucestershire County Council. Improvements will be made to the disabled swimming changing (Changing Places) and swimming disabled access (Pool Pod), with revenue support for the development of swimming and access to services to run through to summer 2018. The capital works are scheduled to commence in the summer of 2017 and be completed by January 2018.
  • Further improvements to the Wilson Art Gallery and Museum, including the creation of an under-fives art discovery play area, better use of public gallery space and the commitment to attract more large art from national art institutions to widen and increase the appeal of the exhibitions.
  • Opening up Pittville Pump Room to greater use to attract more diverse audiences and generate income, for example as a key educational resource and as a venue for weddings, corporate events and concerts.