Gloucester | From Crossroads to Catalyst

Gloucester - from crossroads to catalyst - Bridgehead

Gloucester, historically known as the “Crossroads of England,” is located in the South West of England within Gloucestershire. It’s a county renowned for its engineering and manufacturing, financial services, and cyber and digital sectors. With close proximity to major cities: Birmingham, Bristol, Cardiff, and Oxford, Gloucester stands as an enticing home base for businesses of all sizes.

Economic Vibrancy

With a population of approximately 132,538 people (2021), Gloucester anchors Gloucestershire’s vibrant economy, characterised by a healthy diversity that avoids overreliance on any single sector. From 2016 to 2021, the county’s Gross Value Added (GVA) surged by 18.9%, outpacing both national and regional growth rates. [1]

Gloucester has a healthy mix of established industry leaders and a community of innovative small and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs). Key sectors include engineering, manufacturing, cyber and digital, financial services, creative, and retail and leisure.

Strategic Infrastructure Investment

With over £800 million invested in major regeneration projects since 2013, Gloucester has undergone an urban renaissance. Noteworthy transformations include the regeneration of King’s Quarter and the dockside area, catalysing growth opportunities for both established enterprises and budding startups. The county has also benefited from strategic investments in essential infrastructure, including the Gloucester Motorway Services on the M5, Gloucester Transport Hub and Shield House Data Centre. [2]

Education and Innovation

Gloucester boasts a robust educational ecosystem, with institutions such as Gloucestershire College and the globally ranked, University of Gloucestershire. The university is recognised among the top 1,000 universities worldwide. It distinguishes itself through its industry collaborations, favourable staff-to-student ratio, and state-of-the-art research facilities.

Championing Sustainability

Committed to sustainable growth and environmental stewardship, Gloucestershire embraces a future-oriented vision that prioritises carbon neutrality.

In response to the climate emergency, the county council has embarked on a comprehensive strategy focusing on carbon neutrality, renewable energy adoption, climate resilience, biodiversity conservation, and significant tree planting initiatives in the area.

Innovation Hub for Entrepreneurs

Gloucestershire’s economy is thriving, with a record number of businesses established in 2021, with South Gloucestershire leading the pack, followed by Gloucester and Cheltenham.

At the heart of Gloucester’s entrepreneurial ecosystem lies the Gloucester Growth Hub, a collaborative venture with the University of Gloucestershire. Since opening in 2014, it has helped over 30,000 individuals and businesses through free consultancy, workshops, and collaborative opportunities. 

Support for Local Businesses

The Growth Hub:  This is the only growth hub in the country that offers free, independent business advice, help, and support.

Hubs are located in Gloucester, Cheltenham, Cirencester, Tewkesbury, Stroud, and The Forest of Dean. They offer fully funded support services, as well as specialists and local strategic partners. 

Gloucester Chamber of Commerce: the chamber offers support to businesses in the city as well as networking events. 

Severn Wye Energy Agency: is a charity which supports organisations to overcome  sustainability challenges. They offer advice and action plans on energy management and efficiency. 

Success Stories

Superdry plc – founded by Julian Dunkerton who began on a market stall. This is one of Gloucestershire’s most high profile listed firms, headquartered in Cheltenham.

St James Place Wealth Management is an acclaimed wealth management firm, founded in Cirencester, by turnover, it is the biggest firm in Gloucestershire.

Renishaw plc is one of the world’s leading engineering and scientific technology companies, specialising in precision measurement and healthcare.

Why Choose Gloucester?

With its strategic location and diverse industry landscape spanning engineering, manufacturing, digital technology, financial services, creative sectors, and beyond, Gloucester is a small city on the up and offers a compelling choice for businesses seeking growth and opportunity in the UK.