Latest tourism stats released today show a massive jump as overnight stays surpass 1 million and 23% more foreign tourists visit Gloucester for overnight visits with many more expected during 2020

Posted on October 11th 2019

It can hardly have passed anyone by who visits Gloucester today, that there have been massive changes in the last ten years. Nowhere have these changes been reflected more than in the massive growth in the number of day visitors and tourists visiting the city from elsewhere in the UK and abroad. The growing success of Gloucester Quays and its events, the beautiful regeneration to the Cathedral quarter, the beautiful historic docks, the refurbished Waterways Museum and this year the restored Llanthony Secunda Priory along with successful events such as the Gloucester Tall Ships and Adventure Festival, Aethelflaed celebrations, SoMAC, Siblings Distillery Art in The City, Gloucester History Festival and the Pro. Insurance Gloucester Goes Retro have all contributed to providing activities and attractions for visitors that has led to a phenomenal growth in visitors to the city.

In 2015 Gloucester overtook Cheltenham in terms of the number of day visitors and total spend of visitors in the city. with nearly £212 million spent by visitors in 2018, a 68% increase on 2010.

Some highlights from the independent South West Research Company shows that in 2018 there were :

  • 3,456,000 day visitors to Gloucester and increase of 8% on 2017
  • 1,004,000 nights stayed in Gloucester Hotels, B&Bs and so-on – a significant increase from 920,000 in 2017
  • A 23% growth from 2017 to 2018 in foreign visitors staying overnight
  • 6% of all employment in the city related to tourism value of tourism


Jason Smith Chief Executive of Marketing Gloucester commented “Gloucester is now very firmly on the tourist map and these figures demonstrate how important it is that as a city we plan for the expected continued growth and the important role that Marketing Gloucester with our partners has had in delivering that growth. It is crucial that we particularly facilitate the development of new hotels, especially in the fully serviced sector as due to the few hotels we have, the strong growth in overnight visitors will be restricted. It is also important going forward that we ensure that we have skilled staff in the hospitality sector and continue to invest in developing bookable products for tour operators”

day visits -county

Paul James leader of Gloucester city Council, said that he was encouraged by the figures commenting “All of the efforts that are going into regeneration of the city by the council, cathedral and private sector partners such as Peel, alongside the high profile promotion for the city which has been led on by Marketing Gloucester are really bearing fruit, bringing money and jobs to the city. Undoubtedly as Kings Quarter and other projects around the city are completed, we are likely to see the number of tourist and spend continue to increase”

Employmentday visits

Recently Marketing Gloucester was successful in bidding for part of a £500,000 fund to bring in US tourists to the city and it is expected that this will see a big upturn in visitors from the USA in 2020.

The above figures highlight how important Marketing Glouecster is to the economic health of the city and some highlights of what has been achieved over the years include:

  • Successes in developing regular sponsorship supporting the events delivered by Marketing Gloucester.
  • Led on the successful development of Gloucester BID and has a high level of support from the 570 businesses which are members and are investing £2.5 million in the city
  • Beat 50 other cities to win prestigious ATCM Best Digital High Street Project in 2018 for the GL Card which received over £370,000 investment to develop in Gloucester
  • Won £400,000 for capex to develop UK:DRIC, the new national digital high street innovation centre
  • Initiated funding bids to Arts Council England and developed the Glouecster Cultural Strategy
  • Led on successful bids totalling £90,000 for external funding to deliver carnival 2018 and 2019 with carnival arts partnership


Since 2016 Marketing Gloucester has consistently raised more income externally than the funding provided by the city council raising over £1.7 million from sponsors, commercial activities and other funding.

The important role that marketing Gloucester has played in helping the city be a cleaner, safer, more vibrant place to live, work, invest, visit and study has been recognised independently in the recent report commissioned by the Council Strategy options for the Gloucester Economy – My Local Economy, January 2017

“With Marketing Gloucester in Place, the City has the organisational capacity that so many other towns and cities lack. It is a real advantage to have the capability for business facing and visitor promotion.”

A report produced for Cheltenham Borough Council states “Marketing Gloucester – demonstrates what can be achieved via a purposeful and single-minded approach to the positioning, product and marketing development of a destination.” Since this report, Cheltenham Borough Council have formed Marketing Cheltenham to try and replicate the success in Gloucester.

The Board and dedicated team at Marketing Gloucester have also worked hard on actions to reduce core costs to the bone and find external funding to ensure services are delivered as requested by the council.

Marketing Gloucester also has a number of other successes, as it has worked towards making Gloucester a better place for businesses, residents and visitors alike including:

  • Events such as the Scrumpty sculpture trail, The Beatrix Potter Trail and Henson Pig trail bringing in hundreds of thousands of visitors to the city and funded by Marketing Gloucester through sponsorship without public money
  • The sourcing, set up and relocation of the Gloucester Antiques Centre
  • Over three hundred arts organisations and individuals supported each year through the investment brought in through Marketing Gloucester from external sources above that through local government funding
  • Lead on the successful delivery of the fanzone and cultural events during the Rugby World Cup 2015

Twenty-one new businesses that have opened in Gloucester over the last 12 months

SoMAC Art in the City bannersThere’s always news about shops closing but what about the ones that are opening? Bringing variety and opportunity to Gloucester City Centre, so far, we have seen many new and exciting stores and restaurants join us here in Gloucester and many more are on the horizon including Deichmann, Sundaes Gelato and Barbour!

Five Guys
Fresh and new opening just this month, Five Guys has made its debut at Gloucester Quays. The global fast food chain serves made to order hamburgers and their signature fries cooked in peanut oil. You’ll be spoilt for choice with over 250,000 possible hamburger topping combinations! A full all-American experience.

Clementine Café
This artisan café and gelateria serves coffee, home baked cakes, and variety of gelato sometimes including activated charcoal flavour! Their menu uses fresh, local ingredients while they’re at their very best, bringing delicious seasonal dishes to Westgate Street. The popular café has also opened a branch in Cheltenham.

Hotel Chocolat
The luxury chocolate brand were due to launch their latest store at Gloucester Quays in October, but were ready to open last weekend to the delight of chocoholics everywhere. They use their own sustainably grown cacao, making their chocolate slightly less guilt-free!

Last winter saw the launch of an enormous Adidas outlet in Gloucester Quays. Located in one of the largest units in the shopping complex, the store sells everything from performance wear and trainers through to sport fashion.
Dome Menswear
An independent designer menswear shop has opened on Northgate Street housing brands such as Superdry, Luke and Gant. The boutique store launched in April of 2019 and offers a variety of clothing and accessories, bringing something a bit different to Gloucester City Centre.

Sundaes Gelato
The UK dessert and drinks chain Sundaes Gelato has recently opened a branch in Gloucester on Southgate Street. The restaurant serves sundaes, waffles, milkshakes and much more made from great quality ingredients. Sundaes Gelato also has branches in Birmingham, Sheffield and Oxford to name a few.

Luxury brand, Radley, opened at Gloucester Quays in March. Well known for their handbags and purses with the Scottie dog logo, the stylish London-based company also sell a wide range of accessories including sunglasses, watches and luggage.

Max Gainz Gloucester
A premium sports nutrition store, Max Gainz stocks a range of proteins, amino, drinks and protein bars as well as clothing.

The Winking Owl Fabric Shop
Located on Aldate Street, the Winking Owl supplies a wide variety of fabrics for quilting and dress making as well as patterns. They even run workshops instore, so whether you’re looking to pick up a new skill or get inspired, here’s your opportunity to get crafty!

Blue Inc
The reopening of Blue Inc has brought a wide selection of smart and casual clothing choices back to Eastgate Shopping Centre. The store sells good value men’s clothing and accessories, making it a go to.

Soap Boxx Novelties
Soap Boxx Novelties was new to King’s Square this year. They sell all kinds of soaps, and bathing products and even make bespoke handmade gifts! They also have a range of fragranced products such as scents and spiritual incense.

Wok on Flame
Situated on Westgate Street, Wok on Flame is a noodle bar that serves flavourful dishes form the Far East.

The Med
Formerly Vinings, The Med opened this year bringing a taste of Lebanese, Syrian, Spanish and Greek food to Gloucester Docks. The all Mediterranean dining experience is open 7 days a week for lunch and dinner bookings. Dishes include Tapas, sharing platters, grill and much more!

Brimbles Café
The café on Westgate street is housed in the modified circa 1450 building, originally a merchant’s house. The friendly eatery serves delicious breakfasts and good coffee with the option to enjoy delicacies outdoors!

Dick Whittington’s Gloucester
On July 27th the refurbished Dick Whittington’s reopened as a new venture for Severn Cider. The award-winning cider brand have relaunched the public house that has a large function room and garden with a beautiful view of Gloucester Cathedral to have more of a food-based menu than previously.

Comfy Pew (new owner)
Set in a cosy timbered building just around the corner if the Gloucester Cathedral, this little restaurant has had a new owner this year. Ian and his team have introduced a new menu to the restaurant which is in a charming old English building.

Gods of Ink
A tattoo parlour in Gloucester, located on Market parade expanded this year. The well-established studio has five tattoo artists who have studied ink for many years. Services include custom work, cover ups, laser tattoo removal and they even have a barber!

Vision Centre
Previously located on the corner of Market Parade this optician has now reopened on Northgate Street. The Vision Centre provides a total satisfaction guarantee and first-class service when it comes to eyewear.

Bargain Buys
Poundland on Southgate Street has recently been replaced by Bargain Buys! The nationwide family run business aim to provide the very best value on household brands to make every penny stretch that little further!

One Below
The long vacant unit on Eastgate Street previously housing Poundworld has now been taken over by bargain shop One Below. The discount retail store offers customers discounted household favourites. With prices ranging from 29p to £1 this store provides a great value shopping experience for Gloucester.

Still to come!
With so many exciting businesses on their way to opening in Gloucester it’s such an exciting time to be in the city. Over the next few months look out for these shops and restaurants that are launching soon…

Sundaes Gelato
Hooker and 8
Paffuto Pizza
David Christopher Jewellers


Notes for Editors

A range of images can be downloaded from:

Please credit Marketing Gloucester.

Gloucester BID
Gloucester Business Improvement District is made up of 576 businesses in the city centre of Gloucester who voted in July 2017 to invest approximately £2.5 million back into the city.

Marketing Gloucester
The official Destination Management Organisation for Gloucester, it is a public private partnership promoting the City as a great place to live, work, study, visit and invest; locally, nationally and internationally. It organises award-winning events and festivals, delivering to the city and region hundreds of thousands of visitors and millions of pounds of GVA. It engages with businesses and investors and implements programmes to develop pride of place amongst residents.

‘UK’s first real-time shopping directory launches in Gloucester with support of UK:DRIC’


StreetPin is a new digital platform for the community and retail – two of the hottest topics regarding the future of high streets and town centres. It was launched at the UK:DRIC, the national centre for digital retail innovation in Gloucester, this month.

StreetPin seeks to help independent shops, market stalls and local services without the digital know-how, to make the most of the internet. They focus on the huge gulf between digital sales solutions like pay-per-click, Groupon, keyword bidding etc and traditional sales solutions like printed leaflets, circulars and directory listings. The aim is to help the High Street leverage millions of potential small volume deals, disposal-saving promotions and generally make the most of the ‘here and now’.

Retailers on the StreetPin platform can create their own stand-alone website (Pinboard) within minutes and start trading. Each Pinboard is a blend of community conversations, expert advice and instant deals – everything from recipe recommendations from the butchers, to the pop-up shop discounting goods before they close.

Tim Buick, founder of StreetPin, has been delivering digital solutions for large businesses for 20 years and now seeks to make ‘digital’ accessible to those that ‘don’t do digital’. He has built and tested 5 previous versions of StreetPin and has now pulled all these learnings together into a commercially-ready version 6, and will continue to evolve thanks to retailers’ invaluable feedback.

Tim Buick, founder of StreetPin, said:

“StreetPin champions the pillars of local, instant and simplicity. Where many small businesses may get lost creating a digital ad campaign, the high street sports shop knows that their ideal target audience is the group of 200 runners that meet around the corner every Tuesday and the members of the gym 100m away. StreetPin makes these connections possible, simply and affordably.

“The UK:DRIC has been like an extra member of our team, with introductions, testing, lots of social mentions and invaluable insights. With UK:DRIC’s support, we’ve managed to set up our first real multi-venue trial – in the Eastgate Indoor Market. This is an ideal test-bed for StreetPin as there tends to be a high concentration of entrepreneurial traders, with limited experience of engaging customers that are not in their immediate proximity, especially on a digital/real-time basis. With the trial in full swing, we are receiving lots of great feedback and responsively improving our tools, enabling us to provide a real user-centric product, ready to scale throughout Gloucestershire.”

Emily Knight, Director of UK:DRIC, commented:

“StreetPin is an ideal platform for small businesses looking to make their first step in creating an online presence. StreetPin’s enthusiasm and willingness to learn from both retailers and consumers has created an incredibly accessible interface for businesses to post notices and advertise promotions, removing barriers to digital inclusion. It has also been exciting to introduce StreetPin to businesses working with the UK:DRIC as they can already see the potential in collaboration, further enhancing the digital high street ecosystem we are creating in Gloucester.”
If you’d like more information, or would like them to set up your own demonstration Pinboard (Free until the end of the year), please do contact


What are the benefits for retailers?

  • Get online simply and effectively.
  • Get discovered by those ‘here and now’.
  • Respond to weather, good supplier deals, a drop in footfall… Post offers on your Pinboard in seconds to reflect your ever-changing business environment.
  • Focus on what makes you unique and appealing: the in-store experience and wealth of product knowledge. StreetPin helps you relay this on to the devices of shoppers currently passing you by.
  • Turn customers in to communities – generate a loyal following and a reason for customers to keep coming back.
  • Collaborate with other nearby retailers and services – how about offering 25% off coffee, delivered straight to the captive audience waiting at the hairdresser next door?

What’s in it for the shopper?

  • Promotions don’t need to be the standard 10% off the same products, month in and month out – StreetPin deals are unique and within walking distance.
  • Are you a deal hunter? Follow your favourite shops to receive instant updates for ‘buy one, get one free on Tulips until the end of the day’, or ‘half price Zumba class, tonight only’ – instant deals that you’d never see anywhere else.
  • Looking for something in particular? Pop on to a Pinboard from the comfort of your armchair and ask the shop owner: ‘Do you have any scallops in stock today?’
  • Shopping locally has never been so easy – discover that the market stall you’ve never visited before is selling those headphones you’ve been looking for, and pick them up on the way back from work, instead of waiting for Amazon to deliver them by the end of the week.
  • Produce your own FREE Pinboard wherever you are – these forever-free versions need to be created within 250m of your current location to ensure these are contextually relevant. This could be for your local park where you play football, the local mums’ group, an upcoming event…

The real-time directory

  • This pulls together all the deals and conversations from the shops, services and communities nearby. For the first time, you can access all that the High Street has to offer in one place.
  • You can view all content, or just local deals or just local conversations – whatever you’re in the mood for at any given time.
  • By following this directory (it could be for the High Street, or town, or market), you’ll get all the latest, relevant news and offers, directly in your inbox.


If you’d like more information, or would like them to set up your own demonstration Pinboard (Free until the end of the year), please do contact


The Real Thing to perform at Pro Gloucester Goes Retro next month

Multi-million selling soul band The Real Thing will be airing their much-loved disco inspired hits at Pro Global Gloucester Goes Retro on Saturday 24 August, ahead of their nationwide tour next year. Performing on the SoMAC Stage in King’s Square, the group’s two original vocalists, Chris Amoo and Dave Smith, along with their 5-piece band, The Real Thing will provide the climax to the popular FREE August Bank Holiday festival that celebrates music, fashion and, of course, motor vehicles from a bygone age.


Celebrating the 40th anniversary of their debut hit single ‘You to Me Are Everything’, the Liverpool based trio boast three million selling hit singles including, ‘Can’t Get by Without You’, ‘Whenever You Want My Love’ and ‘Can You Feel the Force’, making them the UK’s best-selling black group of the late 70s.

Commenting on The Real Thing’s success, singer Chris Amoo said, ‘There’s always going to be a sense of nostalgia about our music. It’s the soundtrack to so many people’s lives and that will never die.’

Also performing in King’s Square is vintage entertainment and dancing throughout the whole day, from acts including UK Swing Dance champions Gary and Sarah Boon and their Gloster Swing Dancers, The Revolutionaries performing vintage favourites from a bygone era, Josie and the Outlaw playing Rock and Roll and Rockabilly and cabaret act Cherries on a Cloud.

The Gate Streets and Gloucester Docks will exhibit cars from different cultural eras and will include vehicles by Aston Martin, Jensen, Bentley, Jaguar, Triumph, Morris and Alvis to name just a few. Westgate Street will host the 1900’s – 1949 featuring time-honoured cars from the turn of the last century through to the War Years, and taking in the Roaring Twenties. Rock around the clock on Northgate Street with automobiles from the decade that gave us Rock n’ Roll. On Eastgate Street you will find motors from the heady days of the Swinging Sixties and Southgate Street will be taking us from the Groovy Seventies right up to the present day.

As well as all of this, members from the cast of the classic BBC comedy series ‘Allo ‘Allo will be attending the event and encouraging fans to have a chat or grab a picture, there will be a number of other characters from television and film making their way around the city centre so be sure to keep an eye out.

There will be several awards up for grabs this year, the Best Dressed competitions will be returning and the organisers encourage you to dress up in your best vintage garb with a number of different categories to enter in to and new for this year there are various photography awards for any keen photographers attending this year’s event.

Councillor Steve Morgan, Cabinet Member for Culture and Leisure at Gloucester City Council, said: “Gloucester Goes Retro just gets better and better every year with more activities and people taking part making it one of the top events of its kind! So come and share the day with us in Glorious Gloucester – there is something during the day to appeal to everyone in our vibrant and diverse community – something for the young and not so young – big smiles guaranteed and it’s all free!”

Pro Gloucester Goes Retro Stage Times (King’s Square)

10:00 – 11:00     Sounds of the 50’s and 60’s DJ Set

11:00 – 11:30     Gloster Swing Dance

11:30 – 11:45     Cherries On a Cloud Burlesque

11:45 – 12:30      Josie & The Outlaw (Set 1)

12:30 – 12:45      Gloster Swing Dance

12:45 – 13:30      Josie & The Outlaw (Set 2)

13:30 – 13:45      Gloster Swing Dance

13:45 – 14:30      The Revolutionaires (Set 1)

14:30 – 14:45      Cherries on A Cloud Burlesque

14:45 – 15:00      Gloster Swing Dance

15:00 – 16:00      The Revolutionaires (Set 2)

16:00 – 16:15      Fashion Parade Emma Durrant

16:15 – 16:30      Gloster Swing Dance

16:30                     Prize Giving

18:00                     The Real Thing

Gloucester Goes Retro is sponsored by Pro Global and McCarthy & Stone. It is organised by Cllr Colin Organ, Gloucester City Council, Marketing Gloucester and supported by Gloucester BID.

Find out more information contact Ben Hau at

Waldemar Januszczak, Dr Janina Ramirez and Dr Jonathan Foyle Talk Art History at Sibling Distillery Art In The City

Three of the biggest names in art history will be speaking in Gloucester on Saturday 20 July as part of Sibling Distillery Art In The City.


will be speaking on the subjects ‘Still Lives’, the Pre-Raphaelite movement and the story of Henry VII and Elizabeth of York’s lavishly decorated bed respectively.

The special talks are part of this year’s Sibling Distillery Art In The City event. They take place in the beautifully restored St Mary de Crypt Church following the live outdoor painting contest and special exhibitions taking place in Gloucester City Centre throughout the day.

Waldemar Januszczak is Britain’s most distinguished art critic. Formerly the art critic of The Guardian, he now writes for The Sunday Times, and has twice won the Critic of the Year award. Renowned for his feisty opinions, Waldemar is also a film maker of television arts documentaries.

Dr Janina Ramirez is a cultural historian, broadcaster and author based at the University of Oxford with a passion for communicating ideas about the past. Janina is no stranger to Art In The City as she was on the panel of judges for last year’s Plein Air competition.

Dr Jonathan Foyle is an award-winning BBC broadcaster who also writes regularly for the Financial Times Weekend.

3.00pm | Dr Jonathan Foyle: The rediscovery of Henry VII’s marriage bed

4:30pm | Waldemar Januszczak: Still Lives

7:15pm | Dr Janina Ramirez – How homes were perceived in the pre-Raphaelite art movement

Tickets for each talk are £10 or £25 for all three and can be purchased online from or on the door.
For more information, contact

Ministerial Visit & GFirst LEP to Officially Open the UK Digital Retail Innovation Centre. Google and IBM in attendance

The UK Digital Retail Innovation Centre (UK:DRIC) will be officially opened on 30 May 2019 by the Minister for Digital and the Creative Industries Margot James MP,  and the Chair of GFirst Local Enterprise Partnership, Dr Diane Savory OBE. Richard Graham MP will also be in attendance. The launch of the new national centre for the future of the high street, city and town centres will also be attended by tech giants Google and IBM.

Attendees of the launch event will be able see a number of retail innovation projects being showcased in partnership with the UK:DRIC, and will also be able to take part in Google Digital Garage workshops to learn new skills in data, tech and digital marketing.


Margot James MP, Minister DCMS

The UK:DRIC will be working with retailers large and independent to help them develop and apply best practice and upskill.  It has been based in Gloucester as the city provides an exemplar location where solutions have been tested and resolved quickly. The GL Card was one of these solutions and in June 2018, won the hotly-contested ATCM (Association of Town and City Management) award for “Best Digital High Street Project”, beating off 40 other destinations.

As many towns and centres have suffered a decline over the years from the combined effects of out of town retail parks, internet shopping and a change in consumer behaviour, it has become increasingly crucial for retailers and place managers to examine technologies and solutions that will help shape the future of our town and city environments. Understanding the urgency of the situation Gfirst LEP has granted UK Government funding of £400,000 to the place making organisation Marketing Gloucester to launch the UK:DRIC to help develop innovative solutions to the challenges faced by the high street that can be replicated and scaled up across the UK.

Over the past five years the Gloucester has shown that it is proving to be a testbed and pathfinder for future city solutions and the ideal place to locate this national centre.  Its successes in innovation include:

  • Gloucester was one of the first in the world and the first city in the UK to adopt a three-in-one integrated solution with CCTV over IP, free high-speed WIFI across the whole city and 4G being installed simultaneously, winning the city prestigious Gordon McLanaghan Security Innovation Award. The approach has since been adopted by Cardiff, Glasgow, Nottingham, Leicester and Newcastle.
  • Gloucester became the second destination in the world and the first in the UK to partner with Niantic Labs on the Google FieldTrip™ app, which allows virtual, location-based tourism information through smartphones, tablets and wearables. When Niantic was acquired by Nintendo they went on to develop Pokemon Go, the relationship with Marketing Gloucester began to pay real dividends to the city as much of the location data for Pokestops and Gyms was based on existing information uploaded for Fieldtrip™ and Niantic’s app Ingress™. Gloucester has an especially rich environment for Pokemon Go™ players which has attracted players from around the region, encouraging local businesses to purchase lures for outside their premises and boosting the local economy.

Two projects currently being implemented are those being developed by Rewarding Visits, which was granted £1 million from the UK Government, Innovate UK funding, and Maybetech, a solution that is being delivered as part of the DCLG, Great British High Street Project.  Both of these are operating within the digital high street environment with the aim of encouraging purchasing to be made in bricks and mortar business rather than online.

Guy Chatburn of Rewarding Visits, comments “We chose Gloucester as the partner location for the third phase of the role out of our technology, primarily because alongside a great digital infrastructure, the city had a “can do” organisation like Marketing Gloucester that already had the trust of a wide range number of partners throughout the city which  it could rally together relatively easily in order to enable our project to happen.  They were especially good at helping us work with other organisations operating in complimentary areas such as Stagecoach and Trinity Mirror.  There was also a much lower learning curve as Gloucester has a team with a understanding of the tech and the issues facing towns and cities, and that has definitely lead to us having a much stronger offering in a shorter period of time”.

Prof. Richard Cuthbertson of Said Business School, University of Oxford, examining Gloucester’s example as part of a Europe-wide study  “In our research of European cities with a positive focus towards digital technologies, especially those involving small retailers, Gloucester is an excellent example. This city recognises the need for an independent, third party enabler… providing a long-term, single point of contact, developing the relevant digital and physical infrastructure with multiple means of access for customers and retailers, while utilising simple tools, all within a strategy for “place” that encompasses the individual flavour provided by local retailers and services.”






UK:DRIC Launch

Thursday 30 May 2019

The Promenade, First Floor Eastgate Shopping Centre, Gloucester GL1 1AG

11am                  Event starts

11:30am            Talks start in CONFERENCE ROOM:

Diane Savory OBE –  GFirstLEP – Introduction

Jason Smith – Marketing Gloucester – Why Gloucester.
Jayden Halliday – Leading Edge Only (LEO)

Steve Weston – Localy (new project to be launched in Gloucester)

Polly Barnfield OBE – Maybe*
Oliver Banks – Retail Transformation Show
Revealing the Top 5 Retail Challenges – What next?

12.15pm          Guests free to network and view exhibitions

EXHIBITION SPACE: ACP – Wearable Art, OhBOT, UoG Interior Design Screen, ELOTouch, Gamar, IDScan

POD1:    Innovation Lab – Gloucestershire Libraries

POD2: THEIA and Smile Reader

POD3:    HR Department

POD4:    The Growth Hub and Retail Rocks

CO-WORKING SPACE: IBM, LEO, Nettl, ShopAppy, ELOtouch

CONFERENCE SPACE: UoG School of Business and Technology, Smart World Connect, GfirstLEP, Maybe*

2pm-3.30pm   Google Digital Garage

4.30pm            Minister for Digital & the Creative Industries Margot James MP arrives

5.00pm            DEMONSTRATIONS: Gamar, IDScan, Gloucester360, ELO

6.00pm            Event Ends

Gloucester Tall Ships and Adventure Show gives £11.2 million boost to local economy.

After what is being universally hailed as the most exciting Gloucester Tall Ships and Adventure show in its history, businesses across the city have been praising the event for the extra visitors and sales it has brought in to the whole city of Gloucester.

One national brand retailer on Westgate Street reported a 96.6% increase in sales for the same period in the previous year achieving a week’s sales in just two days, making it one of the top ten performing stores in the UK chain.

The hospitality sector has also had a bumper weekend with J D Wetherspoons reporting the best days trade since they were established, even beating records during the Rugby World Cup 2015.

Hotels and bars across the city were filled across the city and with the Gloucester Sea Shanty festival taking place at the same time at fifteen venues across the city, the evening economy has also performed incredibly well with footfall figures showing a 38.1% increase in visitors to lower Eastgate Street indicating that festival goers were staying well into the night to keep the festival vibe going. Kieron Bates, of Rene Group and a Director of Gloucester BID was delighted with the weekends events commenting “Events such as these have a huge positive impact us on our business and others in the city and draw in visitors from all over the country and internationally. The more we can do of this type of event the better”

Marketing Gloucester have produced some preliminary figures which indicate the economic impact of the event on the city, with over 200,000 visitors to the city over the three days of the event it is estimated that 2019’s biggest ever event will have given an £11.2 million boost to the local economy –activity that is equivalent to producing 200 full time jobs for a year.

Gloucester has been been hugely successful in developing itself as a destination for tourists and in 2015 the city overtook Cheltenham to become the most popular in terms of the number of day visitors and total spend of visitors and has been with nearly £205 million spent by visitors in 2017, an 62% increase on 2010.

Some highlights from the independent research which has been commissioned by Marketing Gloucester include:

·       3,203,000 day visits by tourist to Gloucester

·       920,000 nights stayed in Gloucester Hotels, B&Bs and so-on

·       An increase in the proportion of employment related to tourism from 5% of jobs to 7% with over 4,100 people now employed in the sector

Heat map UK

Above is a heat map showing where UK Visitors travelled from to Tall Ships and adventure Show

Jason Smith, Chief Executive of Marketing Gloucester commented on the successes saying “The Tall Ships and Adventure festival, is just one of the many activities partners in the city are undertaking as part of an holistic multistrand branding exercise for the city of Gloucester – alongside the physical regeneration this is helping to reposition “brand Gloucester” transforming its reputation as an exciting visitor destination.  The knock on impact of consistent, quality events, development of visitor attractions such as the Cathedral, museums, docks and Gloucester Quays is that more wealth and jobs are being created in the city and that demand for overnight accommodation is driving a boom in interest from Hotel operators wanting to invest in the city.”

Paul James, leader of Gloucester City council was also very happy with the results and emphasised that they were part of a ten year visitor economy strategy developed by Marketing Gloucester on behalf of and adopted by the city council available at this link >

“Gloucester has really shown itself at its best this bank holiday weekend and with this being ten year anniversary since the opening of Gloucester Quays and the first Tall Ships show it is evident to everyone how far the city has come in that time, it will be very exciting to see how the planned regeneration for Kings Quarter will continue the city’s progress”

“Developing a strategic responses for the City of Gloucester to mitigate the effects of Global trends for decreases in footfall and increases in void retail properties in town and city centres by growing the visitor economy through development of product and place branding and marketing”

Evidences of Global trends for decreases in footfall and increases in void retail properties in town and city centres and causal relationship
Over the past ten years there has been a sea change to city and town centres across the world. The impact of out of town shopping, particularly on middle-order district and local town centres has been ‘strongly competitive’ rather than ‘benignly complementary’ (Thomas, et al., (2004))and latterly the rise of online shopping has taken their toll on many high streets including reducing footfall and increasing vacancy rates through competitive pressures (Weltevreden, 2007)
The changes in market share of traditional retailing in town and city centres has mainly considered vis-à-vis their supply side effects for example, the level to which online shopping and out of town has replaced elements of use of traditional town centres across Europe and the world (Weltevreden, 2007) (Weltevreden, et al., 2014). In the UK between 2008 and May 2018, 409 large and medium sized retailers have gone into administration affecting 28,378 retail stores and 280,425 employees (Bamfield, 2018).
Other reasons that have been identified as contributing to the downturn in bricks and mortar retailers include drops in demand for consumer goods, in part driven by the sluggish economic growth since the financial crisis, intensive price competition and a developing trend for a smaller proportion of household income to be spent on retail, supplanted by spend on holidays and travel, eating and drinking out, experiences and weddings – all of which are growing faster than spend on retail (Bamfield, 2018). This downward trend in spending on comparison goods seems to be replicated in the USA. According to retail consultant Howard Davidowitz, numerous USA midmarket malls, are suffering from this drop in spend (The Manchester Guardian, 2014). Whilst out of town shopping and the rise of internet shopping may not be the only causes, the literature suggest that they are certainly significant contributory factors (Astbury, 2014) (Weltevreden, et al., 2014). It is worth noting though that although there have been significant swings towards online shopping the research evidences that still the vast majority of retail is taking place within a physical retail environment with eMarketer estimating that globally retail ecommerce sales will increase to $4.058 trillion in 2020, making up 14.6% of total retail spending (Chaffey, 2018). and that some retailers are already indicating that future models of retail will likely still benefit from retaining physical “bricks and mortar locations” often on the historical high streets (Retail Customer Experience, 2018)(Grimsey, 2018) Certainly “service” retail which is co-produced with the consumer benefits greatly from having a physical presence on the high street there are however some disadvantages to this high street presence, not least of which in the UK is the disparity in taxation – according to Centre for Cities Research business rates are the equivalent of 2.3% of bricks-and-mortar retailers’ sales and 0.6% of online traders’ sales and prevent shops competing effectively with their online rivals. (Bamfield, 2018)
International trends have shown an increase in empty retail units and a decrease in footfall in many towns and cities (Weltevreden, et al., 2014). It is expected globally that these trends will continue (Ellis-Chadwick, 2018). In the UK as a whole, Store vacancies have been running at around 11.9% for some time, although there was a rise to a vacancy rate of 14.3% in 2011 (Bamfield, 2018). As of February 2019 UK vacancy rates are running at 11.5% (Local Data Company, n.d.). It is widely reported that negative changes to a place including high retail vacancy rates and the loss of key industries or trends in mobility and tourism, can profoundly undermine the reputation of a place (Millington & Ntounis, 2017) which in turn can lead to a deleterious cycle of footfall declines, spend declines, poorly trading/failed businesses, town/city centres becoming less attractive due to higher vacancy rates which again leads to lower footfall and so-on. This is not necessarily demonstrated in all areas, and local effects can influence this (Grimsey, 2018)

Local Impact on Gloucester UK
For the purpose of the this analysis we will be looking in detail as to the impact of these global changes on the city centre of Gloucester, UK a small city with a population of 129,000 and with a hinterland of 150,000 (Office for National Statistics , 2017)
Vacancy Rates and Footfall
As of January 2019, Gloucester has been similarly impacted by the difficulties faced by the high street. We will be investigating through this report how local initiatives appear to have affected the area, analysing the statistics for footfall and vacant retail properties to note differences from national and global changes and investigate any probable causes for those differences in Gloucester.
In Gloucester over the last ten years the global effects of the changes have been mitigated at times for example in 2010 the city was reported to have among the highest number of empty shops in England, according to a study commissioned by the BBC’s Inside Out West programme from the Local Data Company .(BBC, 2010) with retail vacancies at nearly 21.9% in 2010 however these fell to 12.1% in 2016 but rose by December 2019 to 19.3%. (Local Data Company, n.d.). Note that these figures relate to the historic city centre and that current figures for vacancies including Glouecster Quays bring the current vacancy rate to 12.8%

Figure 1figure 1
Source (Local Data Company, n.d.)


Figure 2figure 2


Source Marketing Gloucester

Figure 3figure 3
(source Springboard)

Figure 4figure 4

• Impact on perceptions of place
In Gloucester surveys of local visitors reports in local press (Phillips, 2018) indicate a negative impact on perception of the areas of the city with higher retail vacancies c.f. areas that have been regenerated and perceived to have a lower number of retail vacancies (My Local Economy, 2017)
• Political impact
The concern expressed by businesses and residents in Gloucester has led to a focus by local politicians on physical and culture regeneration with the aim of redeveloping the city and repositioning from a comparison shopping centre to a destination for residents and visitors (Council, 2019).The poor perception of place has been seen as being a potential negative by the political incumbents (Conservative) and conversely positive news in terms of footfall and vacancy rates along with regeneration activity has been seen as a benchmark of political success (Gloucester Conservatives, 2016)
Specific Local issues
In Gloucester as with many UK cities there has been a closing of branches of a number of high street chains which it might be concluded ad naturam would impact footfall. The local picture, evidences that the model is more complicated than it might initially appear for example the percentages of empty stores was skewed with 54 new retail and leisure units being built at the new Gloucester Quays designer outlet during 2009. Many of these units remained unoccupied after the outlet centre was opened and were then filled over subsequent years. As of 2019 there are 641 retail and leisure units (Local Data Company, n.d.) within the city centre of Gloucester as defined earlier in this document, including those at Gloucester Quays – it is evident how the occupancy of these additional units would affect reported percentage levels of vacancy. These additional units at Gloucester Quays were mostly filled by 2015. A further complication has been added to the analysis of 2017 onwards as alongside the impact of national chains closing, there has been a hold back on releasing some of the empty units which have been bought by Gloucester City Council as art of its strategy of land acquisition and consolidation to enable an planned regeneration of a quarter of the city
It can be concluded that Gloucester is subject to the same Global trends regarding footfall and vacancy rates. One element that needs to be taken into consideration in Gloucester is the significant emphasis that has been placed on the visitor economy and events as drivers for footfall, Events such as Gloucester Goes Retro 25th August 2018 increased footfall by 40,000 and in one of the busier retail areas increased footfall for the week by 20% (Local Data Company, n.d.)
The strategic responses to date and planned and evaluation of the efficacy of historical initiatives and examination of current and future planned responses c.f. best practice
Historic strategic responses
As indicated by the literature it has been common practice by cities which have suffered decline to develop strategies to overcome negative stereotypes and change the image of a place into one attractive to investors, property speculators and visitors (Millington & Ntounis, 2017) . The importance of “place marketing” in post‐industrial towns is well documented (Kotler, et al., 1999) and the role of events within a place marketing strategy has been recognised (Wood, n.d.)
Following a high impact flood in 2007 and the subsequent world-wide economic crises the leader and cabinet of Gloucester City Council formed Marketing Gloucester Ltd (Marketing Gloucester Ltd, n.d.) a new public private partnership with a wide remit to engage in place making activities and especially focussed on Place Marketing (Parker, 2011) recognising that to reverse long-term structural decline an holistic place management approach would need to be implemented which following identified best practice widely engaged stakeholders (Brand, 2007). This multifaceted coordinated approach is one that is widely recognised model (Switzer, 2009) (Vanalo, 2008). Also much emphasis is made in the literature that developing the multi-layered “product” of place is a prerequisite for the implementation of an interconnected and credible place-branding strategy (Ntounis & Kavaratzis, 2017)

Strategic initiatives to drive growth through developing the visitor economy through branding, events and promotion

In 2014 a wide reaching strategy was produced by Marketing Gloucester and adopted by Gloucester City Council entitled “Growing Gloucester’s Visitor Economy” (Jason Smith, 2014). This aimed to identify the barriers to growth and set out key actionable strategies and identified 20 areas that could be worked on in order to develop the place product and place branding and marketing, there were 54 actions that were highlighted that could help deliver growth (Jason Smith, 2014, pp. 24-31).
One element of this strategy was to develop the concept of experiential branding through events that would build on the history and heritage of the city and would provide ample opportunities for place marketing to promote the brand positioning (Vanalo, 2008) (Lodder, 2010)

Figures 5, 6


Statistics (figures 5,6) indicate that there has been an upturn in visitors to Gloucester due to this strategy
Building on strategic responses for future growth
There is evidence that best success in place repositioning is based a multistrand, holistic approach which builds a strategy based on “clear or shared” understanding of the identity of a place (Millington & Ntounis, 2017). For those involved in place branding and place marketing this includes two significant elements, firstly the positive portrayal of a place focussing on “the good bits” to attract inward investment, influence the political influencers and encourage visitors and topophilia, secondly the controlling, containment or ignoring of “the bad bits” (Hankinson, 2003) .
Using Events and Place Marketing to develop brand and drive footfall
It has been demonstrated by the direct impact on footfall of events marketing (Wood & Masterman, 2007)and the positive effects on place branding (Wood & Masterman, 2007) that events and place marketing have been significantly successful in having an impact on the growth of the local economy in Gloucester and drivers for footfall. Much of this success has been due to the successful implementation of a focussed place branding exercise and place marketing by Gloucester’s place making organisation Marketing Gloucester (My Local Economy, 2017) (Creative Tourist Consults, 2016) this approach has been successful by the treating of place as an assemblage where contributory elements are used to develop a nuclear product (Hankinson, 2003). This strategy responds to a number of the most important factors identified as affecting vitality and viability of town and city centre’s (Cathy Parker, 2014) such as improving visitor experience, providing entertainment and leisure activities, improving attractiveness through city dressing for events and giving a “hook” to hang place branding and marketing, which is recognised as being an important use of events (Pugh & Wood, 2004). Key to this strategy will be looking at historical anniversaries and connections to significant events as they relate specifically to Gloucester.
Although there should be a multistrand approach to the global challenges faced by Gloucester of falling footfall and increased vacancy rates (Grimsey, 2018) many of these are not quick fixes and require significant capital investment (Gov.UK Ministry of Housing, Communities & Local Government, 2018)
Resources necessary to implement this response
The building blocks of place branding process have been described as being analysis, strategy and participation (Ntounis & Kavaratzis, 2017)

As demonstrated earlier in this document evidence of trends in footfall and vacancy rates, along with tourism visitor numbers which are collated from footfall counters, vacancy rate counts, Acorn T-Stats, Visit England and so-on are important to informing strategic responses. It will be important to ensure that the collation of these datasets and analysis (Ntounis & Kavaratzis, 2017) is consistent and adequately resourced.
Leadership/Organisation/ Coordination

Effective leadership is identified as essential to effective place branding (Hankinson, 2003) and as discussed previously wide stakeholder buy-in and support can increase effectiveness of activities (Brand, 2007). In the city of Gloucester this leadership is provided on behalf of stakeholders by bodies including the BID, Gloucester City Council, Gloucester Civic Trust, Glouceste Heritage Forum, Gloucester Culture Trust, Gloucester Chamber of Commerce and Marketing Gloucester. The strategy for Place branding, Place Marketing and city events are coordinated and lead on by Marketing Gloucester as mandate by contract with the City Council and Gloucester BID and by formal and informal arrangement with other bodies. Each of these bodies is mandated by statutory status or by their stakeholders. This continued support from stakeholders will be an essential resource to the success of developing and implementing the strategic response of utilising events and especially heritage themed events as a focus for place branding and place marketing. Bodies such as Marketing Gloucester which provide leadership need to be adequately funded to ensure success.
Stakeholder engagement
The place product is managed by a complex organisation of public and private sector stakeholders (Hankinson, 2004) making it difficult to present a consistent brand proposition. Place branding therefore inevitably becomes a coordinated process rather than a managed activity (Hankinson, 2003). Furthermore, the role of coordinator usually falls to local authorities, which operate on low budgets and are subject to political control and interference which further exacerbates the task of brand management. (Hankinson, 2003) In the need to resource this activity has been recognised and has been given to the public private partnership organisation Marketing Gloucester. These type of “Urban Partnerships” are often held up to be good models for stakeholder engagement (Le Feuvre, et al., 2016)
It is important looking forward to continue to review the type of urban partnership that best suits the aims of developing and delivering the strategic responses outlined in the place specific context ensuring avoidance of the “transient tranquilizer of avoidance” or the “high-stakes politics of absolute conquest” relationships between stakeholders, ensuring the main focus of stakeholders is knowledge exchange and collaborative working to give the best opportunity to maximize the chances for success from effective partnership working (Brand, 2007)
It has been recognised in the literature that successful shared intelligence amongst stakeholders engaged in place management can “help inform the identification of new strategic objectives, appropriate interventions and project planning and delivery” (Millington & Ntounis, 2017) Ensuring that there are fora to facilitate stakeholder informing and shaping strategy and helping to implement strategy will be key to the success of the proposed place branding strategic response. These same stakeholders will be needed to provide organisational, leadership and financial resource.
Key to successful place branding and place marketing is ensuring that there is sufficient funding to implement strategies. Marketing Gloucester has developed a rolling 5 year business plan which identifies that a successful implementation of the above strategy including the elements provided on behalf of Gloucester BID will require direct funding for place branding activities, including events and place marketing of approximately £900,000 per annum plus resource for the funding required from partners or leveraged funding for other place making activities.
In April 2018 to March 2019 funding of £1.1 million for Events and Marketing in Gloucester which are aimed to develop place branding, drive footfall in Gloucester came from – Gloucester City Council , Gloucester Business Improvement District (BID), private sector sponsorship, and funding from other bodies such as Visit Britain, Arts Council England, Heritage lottery Fund GFirst LEP and the Heritage Lottery Fund. It is envisioned that the ongoing strategy which has been attractive to these funders will continue and built upon with ongoing funding support .
BIDs are becoming increasingly important in the funding and steering of place marketing including events (Morcol, 2008). In Gloucester there is a close symbiotic relationship between the BID and the Destination Management Organisation which is run by Marketing Gloucester. Nearly £2.5 million over 5 years has been committed by nearly 600 businesses to place management, place marketing and events. Currently Gloucester City Council commits £249,000 per annum to supporting Marketing Gloucester, £160,000 of which is spent on events (Gloucester City Council, 2018). In 2019/20 sponsorship and commercial income is expected to reach just under £0.5million.
Currently consideration is being given to Gloucester applying for 2025 UK City of Culture status we would expect the cost to prepare these bids to require and additional £150,000 to £200,000 of direct funding (BirminghamLive, 2010).  There is yet to be produced compelling evidence that UK City of Culture has a comparable return on investment compared with other initiatives.
It is the development of the place product through events, often utilising key heritage physical assets, that is the key factor in the proposed strategy enabling the development of place branding and place marketing activities to drive footfall and help decrease vacancy rates.

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Labour Market Profile – Gloucester

The profile brings together data from several sources. Details about these and related terminology are given in the definitions section.

Resident Population

Total population (2017)

South West
Great Britain
All people 129,100 5,559,300 64,169,400
Males 63,900 2,734,200 31,661,600
Females 65,200 2,825,100 32,507,800
Source: ONS mid-year population estimates

Population aged 16-64 (2017)

South West
Great Britain
All people aged 16-64 81,900 63.4 60.6 62.9
Males aged 16-64 41,100 64.3 61.4 63.6
Females aged 16-64 40,800 62.6 59.9 62.2
Source: ONS mid-year population estimates
Notes:   % is a proportion of total population

Labour Supply

Employment and unemployment (Oct 2017-Sep 2018)

South West
Great Britain
All people
Economically active† 70,700 82.6 81.1 78.5
In employment† 69,500 81.1 78.7 75.1
Employees† 61,100 71.3 66.3 64.3
Self employed† 8,100 9.3 12.2 10.6
Unemployed (model-based)§ 2,000 2.8 2.9 4.2
Economically active† 36,900 88.3 85.1 83.4
In employment† 35,700 85.3 82.8 79.8
Employees† 30,200 71.9 66.8 65.4
Self employed† 5,400 13.4 15.8 14.1
Unemployed§ # # 2.7 4.2
Economically active† 33,800 76.9 77.1 73.6
In employment† 33,800 76.9 74.6 70.5
Employees† 30,800 70.7 65.7 63.1
Self employed† # # 8.6 7.1
Unemployed§ ! ! 3.2 4.1
Source: ONS annual population survey
#   Sample size too small for reliable estimate
!   Estimate is not available since sample size is disclosive
†   –   numbers are for those aged 16 and over, % are for those aged 16-64
§   –   numbers and % are for those aged 16 and over. % is a proportion of economically active

Economic inactivity (Oct 2017-Sep 2018)

South West
Great Britain
All people
Total 14,300 17.4 18.9 21.5
Student 4,500 31.0 25.9 27.0
looking after family/home # # 21.0 23.9
temporary sick ! ! 2.2 2.0
long-term sick 3,900 27.0 21.7 22.4
discouraged ! ! 0.5 0.4
retired # # 16.4 12.9
other # # 12.4 11.2
wants a job 4,900 34.0 22.4 21.4
does not want a job 9,500 66.0 77.6 78.6
Source: ONS annual population survey
#   Sample size too small for reliable estimate
!   Estimate is not available since sample size is disclosive
Notes:   numbers are for those aged 16-64.
  % is a proportion of those economically inactive, except total, which is a proportion of those aged 16-64

Workless Housholds (Jan-Dec 2017)

Gloucester South West Great Britain
Number of Workless Households # 192,500 2,943,800
Percentage of Households that are Workless # 11.3 14.5
Number of children in Workless Households # 66,200 1,280,500
Percentage of children who are in Households that are Workless # 7.1 10.7
Source: ONS annual population survey – households by combined economic activity status
#   Sample size too small for reliable estimate
Notes:   Only includes those households that have at least one person aged 16 to 64.
Children refers to all children aged under 16.

Employment by occupation (Oct 2017-Sep 2018)

South West
Great Britain
Soc 2010 major group 1-3 27,200 39.2 44.9 46.1
1 Managers, directors and senior officials 7,700 11.1 11.2 10.8
2 Professional occupations 8,900 12.8 19.1 20.5
3 Associate professional & technical 10,600 15.2 14.4 14.7
Soc 2010 major group 4-5 14,600 21.0 21.1 20.3
4 Administrative & secretarial 8,100 11.7 9.7 10.1
5 Skilled trades occupations 6,400 9.3 11.4 10.1
Soc 2010 major group 6-7 13,200 19.0 16.9 16.7
6 Caring, leisure and Other Service occupations 6,600 9.5 9.4 9.1
7 Sales and customer service occs 6,600 9.5 7.5 7.6
Soc 2010 major group 8-9 14,500 20.8 17.2 17.0
8 Process plant & machine operatives 7,000 10.1 6.3 6.4
9 Elementary occupations 7,400 10.7 10.9 10.5
Source: ONS annual population survey
Notes:   Numbers and % are for those of 16+
% is a proportion of all persons in employment

Qualifications (Jan 2017-Dec 2017)

South West
Great Britain
NVQ4 and above 21,700 26.8 39.0 38.6
NVQ3 and above 38,100 47.2 60.3 57.2
NVQ2 and above 56,300 69.8 79.0 74.7
NVQ1 and above 67,000 83.1 90.1 85.4
Other qualifications 8,200 10.1 4.9 6.9
No qualifications 5,500 6.8 5.0 7.7
Source: ONS annual population survey
Notes:   For an explanation of the qualification levels see the definitions section.
Numbers and % are for those of aged 16-64
% is a proportion of resident population of area aged 16-64

Earnings by place of residence (2018)

South West
Great Britain
Gross weekly pay
Full-time workers 507.2 537.6 571.1
Male full-time workers 552.1 583.0 612.2
Female full-time workers 439.1 473.8 510.0
Hourly pay – excluding overtime
Full-time workers 12.67 13.52 14.36
Male full-time workers 13.22 14.19 14.89
Female full-time workers 11.85 12.43 13.56
Source: ONS annual survey of hours and earnings – resident analysis
Notes:   Median earnings in pounds for employees living in the area.

Out-Of-Work Benefits

Under Universal Credit a broader span of claimants are required to look for work than under Jobseeker’s Allowance. As Universal Credit Full Service is rolled out in particular areas, the number of people recorded as being on the Claimant Count is therefore likely to rise.

Claimant count by sex – not seasonally adjusted (December 2018)

South West
Great Britain
All people 1,905 2.3 1.8 2.4
Males 1,135 2.8 2.1 2.8
Females 770 1.9 1.5 1.9
Source: ONS Claimant count by sex and age
Note:   % is the number of claimants as a proportion of resident population of area aged 16-64 and gender

Claimant count by age – not seasonally adjusted (December 2018)

South West
Great Britain
Aged 16+ 1,905 2.3 1.8 2.4
Aged 16 to 17 5 0.2 0.2 0.2
Aged 18 to 24 360 3.2 2.5 3.2
Aged 18 to 21 225 3.5 2.6 3.4
Aged 25 to 49 1,050 2.4 2.0 2.4
Aged 50+ 485 2.0 1.5 2.1
Source: ONS Claimant count by sex and age
Note:   % is number of claimants as a proportion of resident population of the same age

Working-age client group – main benefit claimants – not seasonally adjusted (November 2016)[Discontinued]

South West
Great Britain
Total claimants 9,290 11.4 9.7 11.0
By statistical group
Job seekers 980 1.2 0.8 1.1
ESA and incapacity benefits 5,170 6.3 5.5 6.1
Lone parents 930 1.1 0.8 1.0
Carers 1,210 1.5 1.4 1.7
Others on income related benefits 140 0.2 0.2 0.2
Disabled 700 0.9 0.9 0.8
Bereaved 150 0.2 0.2 0.2
Main out-of-work benefits† 7,230 8.9 7.2 8.4
Source: DWP benefit claimants – working age client group
†   Main out-of-work benefits includes the groups: job seekers, ESA and incapacity benefits, lone parents and others on income related benefits. See the Definitions and Explanations below for details
Notes:   % is a proportion of resident population of area aged 16-64
Figures in this table do not yet include claimants of Universal Credit

Labour Demand

Jobs density (2017)

South West
Great Britain
Jobs density 70,000 0.85 0.89 0.86
Source: ONS jobs density
Notes:   The density figures represent the ratio of total jobs to population aged 16-64.
Total jobs includes employees, self-employed, government-supported trainees and HM Forces

Employee jobs (2017)

(employee jobs)
South West
Great Britain
Total employee jobs 63,000
Full-time 40,000 63.5 64.4 67.5
Part-time 23,000 36.5 35.7 32.5
Employee jobs by industry
B : Mining and quarrying 0 0.0 0.1 0.2
C : Manufacturing 4,000 6.3 8.6 8.2
D : Electricity, gas, steam and air conditioning supply 1,750 2.8 0.5 0.5
E : Water supply; sewerage, waste management and remediation activities 75 0.1 0.8 0.7
F : Construction 3,000 4.8 5.3 4.8
G : Wholesale and retail trade; repair of motor vehicles and motorcycles 11,000 17.5 16.0 15.2
H : Transportation and storage 1,750 2.8 3.6 4.7
I : Accommodation and food service activities 4,000 6.3 9.8 7.5
J : Information and communication 2,500 4.0 3.6 4.4
K : Financial and insurance activities 3,500 5.6 3.5 3.5
L : Real estate activities 800 1.3 1.5 1.7
M : Professional, scientific and technical activities 3,000 4.8 7.3 8.4
N : Administrative and support service activities 5,000 7.9 7.4 9.1
O : Public administration and defence; compulsory social security 4,000 6.3 4.2 4.3
P : Education 4,500 7.1 9.4 8.9
Q : Human health and social work activities 12,000 19.0 13.7 13.3
R : Arts, entertainment and recreation 900 1.4 2.5 2.6
S : Other service activities 1,250 2.0 1.9 2.0
Source: ONS Business Register and Employment Survey : open access
–   Data unavailable
Notes:   % is a proportion of total employee jobs excluding farm-based agriculture
Employee jobs excludes self-employed, government-supported trainees and HM Forces
Data excludes farm-based agriculture

Earnings by place of work (2018)

South West
Great Britain
Gross weekly pay
Full-time workers 545.8 531.2 570.9
Male full-time workers 614.1 574.9 611.8
Female full-time workers 480.0 469.3 509.8
Hourly pay – excluding overtime
Full-time workers 14.33 13.35 14.35
Male full-time workers 16.00 13.98 14.88
Female full-time workers 12.91 12.31 13.55
Source: ONS annual survey of hours and earnings – workplace analysis
Notes:   Median earnings in pounds for employees working in the area.

Civil service jobs as a proportion of employee jobs (2018)

South West
Great Britain
Total civil service jobs 730 1.2 1.7 1.5
Full-time 440 0.7 1.3 1.1
Part-time 290 0.5 0.3 0.3
Source: ONS Annual Civil Service Employment Survey
Note:   Percentages based on % of total jobs in area that are civil service jobs

Composition of civil service jobs by sex and hours worked (2018)

South West
Great Britain
Total civil service jobs 730
Full-time 440 60.3 80.8 76.9
Part-time 290 39.7 19.2 23.1
Male 260 35.6 54.0 45.7
Full-time 200 27.4 49.9 41.5
Part-time 60 8.2 4.1 4.2
Female 470 64.4 46.0 54.3
Full-time 240 32.9 30.8 35.4
Part-time 230 31.5 15.2 18.9
Source: ONS Annual Civil Service Employment Survey
Note:   Percentages based on % of Total Civil Service Jobs made up of each category


UK Business Counts (2018)

South West
South West
Micro (0 to 9) 3,120 85.6 206,350 89.0
Small (10 to 49) 390 10.7 21,185 9.1
Medium (50 to 249) 105 2.9 3,435 1.5
Large (250+) 25 0.7 780 0.3
Total 3,645 231,745
Local Units
Micro (0 to 9) 3,790 78.1 230,155 84.0
Small (10 to 49) 835 17.2 36,035 13.2
Medium (50 to 249) 205 4.2 6,750 2.5
Large (250+) 25 0.5 900 0.3
Total 4,855 273,840
Source: Inter Departmental Business Register (ONS)
Note:   % is as a proportion of total (enterprises or local units)

Definitions and Explanations

Resident Population
The estimated population of an area includes all those usually resident in the area, whatever their nationality. HM Forces stationed outside the United Kingdom are excluded but foreign forces stationed here are included. Students are taken to be resident at their term-time address.
Labour Supply
Labour supply consists of people who are employed, as well as those people defined as unemployed or economically inactive, who can be considered to be potential labour supply. Information in this section relates to the characteristics of people living in an area.

Most labour supply data comes from the Annual Population Survey (APS). The APS is the largest regular household survey in the United Kingdom. It includes data from the Labour Force Survey (LFS), plus further sample boosts in England, Wales and Scotland. The survey includes data from a sample of around 256,000 people aged 16 and over.

As APS estimates are based on samples, they are subject to sampling variability. This means that if another sample for the same period were drawn, a different estimate might be produced. In general, the larger the number of people in a sample, the smaller the variation between estimates. Estimates for smaller areas such as local authorities are therefore less reliable than those for larger areas such as regions. When the sample size is too small to produce reliable estimates, the estimates are replaced with a #.

Economically Active
Economically active
People who are either in employment or unemployed.
Economic activity rate
People, who are economically active, expressed as a percentage of all people.
In employment
People who did some paid work in the reference week (whether as an employee or self employed); those who had a job that they were temporarily away from (eg, on holiday); those on government-supported training and employment programmes; and those doing unpaid family work.
Employment rate
The number of people in employment expressed as a percentage of all people aged 16-64.
Employees and self employed
The division between employees and self employed is based on survey respondents’ own assessment of their employment status. The percentage show the number in each category as a percentage of all people aged 16-64. The sum of employees and self employed will not equal the in employment figure due to the inclusion of those on government-supported training and employment programmes, and those doing unpaid family work in the latter.
Refers to people without a job who were available to start work in the two weeks following their interview and who had either looked for work in the four weeks prior to interview or were waiting to start a job they had already obtained.
Model-based unemployed
As unemployed form a small percentage of the population, the APS unemployed estimates within local authorities are based on very small samples so for many areas would be unreliable. To overcome this ONS has developed a statistical model that provides better estimates of total unemployed for unitary authorities and local authority districts (unemployment estimates for counties are direct survey estimates). Model-based estimates are not produced for male or female unemployed.

The model-based estimate improves on the APS estimate by borrowing strength from the Claimant Count to produce an estimate that is more precise (i.e. has a smaller confidence interval). The number of people measured by the Claimant Count is not itself a measure of unemployment but is strongly correlated with unemployment, and, as it is an administrative count, is known without sampling error. The gain in precision is greatest for areas with smaller sample sizes.

Unemployment rate
Unemployed as a percentage of the economically active population.
Economically inactive
Economically inactive
People who are neither in employment nor unemployed. This group includes, for example, all those who were looking after a home or retired.
Wanting a job
People not in employment who want a job but are not classed as unemployed because they have either not sought work in the last four weeks or are not available to start work.
Not wanting a job
People who are neither in employment nor unemployed and who do not want a job.
Workless Households
A household is defined as a single person, or a group of people living at the same address who have the address as their only or main residence and either share one main meal a day or share living accommodation (or both). For the purposes of this table, estimates only include those households where at least 1 person is aged 16 to 64.
Workless households
Households where no-one aged 16 or over is in employment. These members may be unemployed or economically inactive. Economically inactive members may be unavailable to work because of family commitments, retirement or study, or unable to work through sickness or disability.
Children refers to all children under 16.
Occupations are classified according to the Standard Occupation Classification 2010. Descriptions of the job titles included in each code are available in the SOC manuals.
Qualifications data are only be available from the APS for calendar year periods, for example, Jan to Dec 2005. The variables show the total number of people who are qualified at a particular level and above, so data in this table are not additive. Separate figures for each NVQ level are available in the full Annual Population Survey data set (Query data).

The trade apprenticeships are split 50/50 between NVQ level 2 and 3. This follows ONS policy for presenting qualifications data in publications. Separate counts for trade apprenticeships can be obtained from the full APS data set (Query data).

No qualifications
No formal qualifications held.
Other qualifications
includes foreign qualifications and some professional qualifications.
NVQ 1 equivalent
e.g. fewer than 5 GCSEs at grades A-C, foundation GNVQ, NVQ 1, intermediate 1 national qualification (Scotland) or equivalent.
NVQ 2 equivalent
e.g. 5 or more GCSEs at grades A-C, intermediate GNVQ, NVQ 2, intermediate 2 national qualification (Scotland) or equivalent.
NVQ 3 equivalent
e.g. 2 or more A levels, advanced GNVQ, NVQ 3, 2 or more higher or advanced higher national qualifications (Scotland) or equivalent.
NVQ 4 equivalent and above
e.g. HND, Degree and Higher Degree level qualifications or equivalent.
Earnings by Residence
The figures show the median earnings in pounds for employees living in the area who are on adults rates of pay and whose pay was not affected by absence. Figures for earnings come from the Annual Survey of Hours and Earnings (ASHE). The ASHE is based on a 1 per cent sample of employees, information on whose earnings and hours is obtained from employers. The survey does not cover self-employed. Information relates to a pay period in April.

The earnings information collected relates to gross pay before tax, national insurance or other deductions, and excludes payments in kind. It is restricted to earnings relating to the survey pay period and so excludes payments of arrears from another period made during the survey period; any payments due as a result of a pay settlement but not yet paid at the time of the survey will also be excluded.

Out-Of-Work Benefits
Claimant Count (Experimental Statistics)
The Claimant Count is the number of people claiming benefit principally for the reason of being unemployed. This is measured by combining the number of people claiming Jobseeker’s Allowance (JSA) and National Insurance credits with the number of people receiving Universal Credit principally for the reason of being unemployed. Claimants declare that they are out of work, capable of, available for and actively seeking work during the week in which the claim is made.

The measure of the number of people receiving Universal Credit principally for the reason of being unemployed is still being developed by the Department for Work and Pensions. Consequently this component of the total Claimant Count does not yet correctly reflect the target population of unemployed claimants and is subject to revisions. For this reason the Claimant Count is currently designated as Experimental Statistics.

The Claimant Count is mostly derived from DWP administrative systems. For various reasons, e.g. a claimant’s National Insurance number is not known, a small number of claims have to be dealt with manually. These clerical claims do not have as much detail as the computerised claims and therefore, whilst part of the claimant count by sex table, cannot be included the age breakdown.

Rates by age

Unemployment benefits normally only apply to people aged 18 years and over. They can only be claimed by 16 and 17 year olds in exceptional circumstances. Consequently the counts for this age group are typically very low.

DWP Working-Age Client Group
From August 2017 DWP discontinued this dataset when they changed the way they publish their benefit statistics. The last period of data is the November 2016 figures published in May 2017.

The number of working-age people who are claiming one or more main DWP benefits. The main benefits are: bereavement benefit, carer’s allowance, disability living allowance, ESA and incapacity benefit, severe disablement allowance, income support, jobseeker’s allowance, and widow’s benefit. The age at which women reach State Pension age is gradually increasing from 60 to 65 between April 2010 and April 2020. Throughout this period, only women below State Pension age are counted as working age benefit claimants.”

The total count is broken down by statistical groups. These categorise each person according to the main reason why they are claiming benefit. Each client is classified to a single group.

Benefits are arranged hierarchically and claimants are assigned to a group according to the top most benefit they receive. Thus a person who is a lone parent and receives Incapacity Benefit would be classified as incapacity benefits. Consequently, the group lone parent will not contain all lone parents as some will be included in the incapacity benefits group and Job seekers groups.

Main out-of-work benefits consists of the groups: job seekers, ESA and incapacity benefits, lone parents and others on income related benefits.

These groups have been chosen to best represent a count of all those benefit recipients who cannot be in full-time employment as part of their condition of entitlement. Those claiming solely Bereavement Benefits or Disability Living Allowance (DLA) are not included as these are not out-of-work or income based benefits. DLA is paid to those needing help with personal care. These people can, and some will, be in full-time employment. If DLA claimants are also in receipt of JSA, IS, ESA or Incapacity Benefits in addition to DLA they will be counted under the relevant statistical group. In addition, we exclude those claiming solely carer’s benefits or claiming carer’s benefits alongside income support, as DWP does not pursue active labour market policies for this group. Carers benefits are paid to those with full time caring responsibilities. The group entitled to Carer’s benefits alongside Income Support (IS) includes around 86,000 claimants and has been stable over time.

This Nomis series is different to that published in the Office for National Statistics (ONS) Labour Market Bulletin. The Nomis series uses DWP Jobseeker’s Allowance numbers, whilst the Labour Market Bulletin uses the Claimant Count, using different methods, coverage and reference periods

Labour DemandLabour demand includes jobs available within the area.

Jobs Density
The level of jobs per resident aged 16-64. For example, a job density of 1.0 would mean that there is one job for every resident aged 16-64.

The total number of jobs is a workplace-based measure and comprises employee jobs, self-employed, government-supported trainees and HM Forces. The number of residents aged 16-64 figures used to calculate jobs densities are based on the relevant mid-year population estimates.

Employee Jobs
The number of jobs held by employees. Employee jobs excludes self-employed, government-supported trainees and HM Forces, so this count will be smaller than the total jobs figure shown in the Jobs density table. The information comes from the Business Register and Employment Survey (BRES) – an employer survey conducted in September of each year. The BRES records a job at the location of an employee’s workplace (rather than at the location of the business’s main office).

Full-time and part-time:
In the BRES, part-time employees are those working for 30 or fewer hours per week.
All figures exclude farm-based agriculture
Earnings by Place of Work
The figures show the median earnings in pounds for employees working in the area who are on adults rates of pay and whose pay was not affected by absence. Figures for earnings come from the Annual Survey of Hours and Earnings (ASHE). The ASHE is based on a 1 per cent sample of employees, information on whose earnings and hours is obtained from employers. The survey does not cover self-employed. In 2004 information related to the pay period which included 21 April.

The earnings information collected relates to gross pay before tax, national insurance or other deductions, and excludes payments in kind. It is restricted to earnings relating to the survey pay period and so excludes payments of arrears from another period made during the survey period; any payments due as a result of a pay settlement but not yet paid at the time of the survey will also be excluded.

Annual Civil Service Employment SurveyThe Annual Civil Service Employment Survey (ACSES) is based on a census of civil service departments on 31 March. ACSES counts all home Civil Service employees. It excludes the Northern Ireland Civil Service, other Crown servants and employees of the wider public sector. There are home Civil Service employees based in Northern Ireland and Overseas. Headcount statistics are based on the number of employees with an employment contract who are being paid by the organisation. Employees can be permanent, on a fixed-term contract or employed on a temporary basis. The self-employed, contract workers and agency workers are excluded. Employees not on the payroll and not being paid during the reference period are also excluded, for example, those on unpaid maternity leave, unpaid sick absence and career breaks. Full-time employees are those who are contracted to work 37 hours per week (36 hours per week in London for employees employed prior to 2013. Employees in London substantively promoted since 2013, or who have joined the Civil Service subsequent to this date, are now contracted to work 37 hours per week if on a full-time basis). Part-time employees are those who work less than the normal contracted hours.

Note ACSES data is currenly only available for local authorities in England and Wales.


Jobcentre plus vacancies
The figures in the tables are based on the number of live unfilled vacancies handled by Jobcentre Plus. These are vacancies actively available to jobseekers on the count date and are derived as a by-product of administrative systems. Users should be aware of the following points when using and interpreting the series:

  • Coverage relates just to vacancies notified to Jobcentre Plus and as such represent a market share of vacancies throughout the whole economy. This proportion varies over time, according to the occupation of the vacancy and industry of the employer, and by local area.
  • The time-series is susceptible to discontinuities arising from changes to vacancy taking and vacancy handling (e.g. 2006 changes to employer follow-up processes).
  • Local area data can throw up spurious figures. For example, Lincoln local authority includes all national vacancies notified by the Ministry of Defence since these are recorded against a single central postcode irrespective of actual location.

For further details see:

–>UK Business CountsThe data contained in the table are compiled from an extract taken from the Inter-Departmental Business Register (IDBR) recording the position of units as at March of the reference year. The IDBR contains information on VAT traders and PAYE employers in a statistical register which provides the basis for the Office for National Statistics to conduct surveys of businesses.

The table presents analysis of businesses at both Enterprise and Local Unit level. An Enterprise is the smallest combination of legal units (generally based on VAT and/or PAYE records) which has a certain degree of autonomy within an Enterprise Group. An individual site (for example a factory or shop) in an enterprise is called a local unit.

The employment information on the IDBR is drawn mainly from the Business Register Employment Survey (BRES). Because this is based on a sample of enterprises, estimates from previous returns and from other ONS surveys have also been used. For the smallest units, either PAYE jobs or employment imputed from VAT turnover is used.

Estimates in the table are rounded to prevent disclosure.


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