Gloucester receives part of £500,000 funding to bring in USA tourists

Anglo – American ‘Connections’ project receives funding to bolster Special Relationship

Gloucester and twelve destination partners have bid successfully for a £500,000 grant from VisitEngland in a collaborative project to develop a range of experiences directed at the US tourism market. ‘Connections’ will produce a series of new, immersive, bookable English-themed visitor experiences specifically for the American market, encouraging visitors to explore England beyond London. The experiences will aim to tap in to the fascination of the many connections between England and America – a shared history, language, culture and ancestry. In an effort to inspire many visitors to discover their roots and the authenticity of local English culture.

Connections is one of a number of successful projects to receive funding from the UK Government’s £40 million Discover England Fund. The Fund is administered by VisitEngland and involves a programme of activity to ensure that England stays competitive in the rapidly growing global tourism industry, by offering world-class English tourism products to the right customers at the right timeThe Fund is a central government funded programme of activity, supported by match funding by partners in the public and private sectors.

VisitEngland Chief Executive, Sally Balcombe, said:

“The calibre of submissions to the Discover England Fund reflects the innovation in product development thriving across the country’s tourism landscape. The successful projects will boost international and domestic visitor growth creating a step-change in the industry and spreading the economic benefits of tourism across England.  Our research shows that many US visitors come to Britain due to historic family connections and these ancestry themed itineraries will inspire them to explore more of regional England.

A large-scale collaboration between 13 destinations, Connections will develop tourism products in the lead up to 2020, the 400th anniversary of the Mayflower’s historic voyage from Plymouth to the New World. Gloucester along with Bristol, Cambridge, Cornwall, Essex, Hampshire, Hertfordshire, Kent, Lincolnshire, Nottinghamshire, Plymouth, Torbay and Worcestershire  will look into themes with significant appeal to US visitors, such as Magna Carta and the rule of law, The writer of the American National Anthem, George Whitfield, The Mayflower, Virginia and early American colonisation, WW2, US military and the ‘special relationship’.

The project also aims to showcase the best of England’s culture and heritage through the development of a broad range of specialist guided tours and behind the scenes experiences and will be sold in the US via tour operators and travel agents. There were 2.9 million overseas visits to the UK from January to July this year from North America alone, an increase of 21% on the same period last year.

Jason Smith, CEO of marketing Gloucester said:

“This funding will have a huge impact on tourism for the city of Gloucester from the USA market, and will help build on the phenomenal growth the city has shown over the last five years.  We are delighted to be among the select few destinations that will be receiving the benefits of this significant funding“

GloucesterAMERICAN CONNECTIONS WITH GLOUCESTER

BUTTON GWINNETT 1735-1777

Born in Gloucester and educated at the King’s School. He became an American political leader, who as a representative of Georgia to Congress, was the second of the signatories (first signature on the left) on the United States Declaration of Independence. He was also the provisional president of Georgia in 1777, and Gwinnett County (now a major suburb of Atlanta) was named after him.

Gwinnett was killed in a duel by Lachlan McIntosh following a dispute over a failed invasion of East Florida.

His father’s tomb at Down Hatherley has been restored recently but there is probably some interpretation to do.  I have asked Stephen if we can put a plaque on 10 College Green, where he would have lived as a child (as well as Down Hatherley) and we probably should do something at St Nicholas as his father was vicar there as well.

CAPTAIN HOWARD BLACKBURN

Captain Blackburn arrived in Gloucester docks in August 1899 after sailing his 30ft cutter “Great Eastern” single handed across the Atlantic from Gloucester Massachusetts. He had spent 61 days at sea and had been affected by a badly swollen leg which prevented him from raising sail for 8 days. This journey was even more remarkable as he had lost all his fingers, both thumbs and a toe through frost bite during a severe winter storm on an earlier fishing voyage.

Blackburn was welcomed at the quayside by a large crowd of sightseers. During his stay in the city he was entertained by a number of leading citizens. Several hundred people visited the docks to see his tiny craft and many were welcomed aboard and were offered bourbon whisky and ship’s biscuits.

GEORGE WHITEFIELD

Whitefield was born in 1714 at the Bell Inn in Southgate Street. He was educated at King’s School, the Crypt Grammar School and later at Pembroke College, Oxford in1732. It was at Oxford that he met John and Charles Wesley and joined their Christian Society or “Holy Club” who were referred to as “Methodists”.

Whitefield was ordained as deacon in 1736 and as a priest in1739 and preached his first sermon in St Mary de Crypt church. The pulpit he used, together with its sounding board can still be seen in the nave. He first sailed to America early in 1738, the first of 7 such trips, returning later the same year. Shortly afterwards he crossed the Atlantic again where he preached to large audiences from Pennsylvania in the north to Georgia in the south. The impact of Whitefield on both English and American society was immense and his greatest asset was his magnificent voice. Benjamin Franklin calculated that he could be heard by 30,000 people at any one time.

The charity school he founded in Pennsylvania was the forerunner of the present University and he was also involved in the creation of the college at Princeton, New Jersey. No fewer than 51 American schools and colleges owe their inception to him. During his sixth visit to the colonies the Library at Harvard University was totally destroyed by fire and Whitefield secured a large gift of books from England to re-equip a new building. He died on Sunday 30 September 1777 at Newburyport, Massachusetts having preached no fewer than 18,000 sermons to an estimated 10 million people in his lifetime.

JOHN STAFFORD SMITH

John Stafford Smith was baptised in Gloucester Cathedral on 30th of March 1750. He was educated at the cathedral school where he became an accomplished boy-singer. By the 1770’s he had gained a reputation as an excellent composer and organist in London. This led to his election as a member of the very select Anachreontic Society that boasted amongst its membership Dr Johnson, James Boswell, Sir Joshua Reynolds, Henry Purcell and J.C. Bach. Smith composed the music for the society’s constitutional song entitled “To Anachreon in Heaven”. This song became popular in America following the establishment of several Anachreontic societies there.

During the second year of the war of 1812 the British fleet made a night attack on Fort McHenry on the eastern seaboard of the United States. A local attorney, Francis Scott Key, had boarded a British warship to secure the release of an American prisoner. Key was held on board the ship so that he could not pass on any prior intelligence of the attack. He watched the bombardment throughout the night and was pleasantly surprised to see a huge American stars and stripes flag still flying above the fort as dawn broke. He immediately penned a four verse poem to the tune composed by John Stafford Smith that began “Oh! Say, can you see, by the dawn’s early light….”

The poem was printed on handbills the next morning and distributed throughout Baltimore. The song became immediately popular and three months later it was played during the Battle of New Orleans. “The Star Spangled Banner” was officially adopted as the national anthem of the USA in March 1931.

MALCOLM COTTON BROWN

Born in 1897, he came from Chicago and trained as a pilot at Camp Benbrook, Fort Worth, Texas. He was commissioned as a 2nd Lieutenant in the Royal Flying Corps in January 1918 and joined the largely American 90 Squadron in June and was promoted to full Lieutenant in the newly formed RAF. The squadron was transferred to Brockworth on the 15th of July to await delivery of their Sopwith Dolphin single seat fighters. A week later only one aircraft arrived and the pilots drew lots to see who would be the first to fly it. Brown held the winning ticket and immediately took off to put the plane through its paces. He put the aircraft into a series of screaming dives pulling out at about 100 feet above the ground. Halfway through a dive the port wing folded up and the plane went into a corkscrew spiral into the ground. Malcolm Cotton Brown was killed instantly. A tree was planted in his memory at Brockworth and there is a large memorial plaque to him in St Mary de Lode church containing the words “A son of America fallen for England”.

INCREASE MATHER

An American Puritan who graduated from Harvard in 1656 and was later described as the “most distinguished American of his generation”. He became an assistant to James Forbes the Presbyterian minister in Gloucester. Mather preached at St Mary de Lode church in the morning and at the cathedral in the afternoon.  Although he was delighted with Gloucester and resolved to devote his life to its spiritual needs, he left the city in 1660. Mather refused to conform to the reformed Church of England and returned to America in June 1661.

He travelled to England again in 1688 in an attempt to restore the Charter for Massachusetts which had been lost in 1684. Mather became the sixth president of Harvard College from 1692 till 1701.

Mather was involved in denouncing the tests for witchcraft used during the famous Salem Witchcraft Trials.

GLOUCESTER MADE BELLS IN AMERICA

The oldest peal of bells in the USA are in Old North Church, Boston. They were made in 1744 by the famous Rudhall foundry in Gloucester and installed in 1745.

One of the first bell ringers at the church was Paul Revere who with William Dawes made the historic ride to warn the rebel militia that “The British are coming”. This was a prelude to the first battles of the American Revolution. The church tower was used to warn of the approach of the British forces. One light for an advance by land, two lights for one by sea.

The Rudhall foundry was on the site of the present Post Office in King’s Square. There is a plaque to the right of the entrance.

AMERICANS IN GLOUCESTER IN WWII

The following anecdote was related by an American visitor during a guided tour of Gloucester. His father had been a Provost Marshall with the North American forces on their arrival in England.

“Two Provost Marshalls visited Gloucester prison to assess the suitability of the accommodation for the detention for any law breaking military personnel. They requested to be locked up in one of the cells that evening and not to be released until 7.00am the following morning. The prison staff duly obliged, but were shocked to find that the two marshalls had escaped sometime during the night”.

 

 

 

 

ENDS.

Press enquiries: For more information, please contact Ben Hau on 01452 207020 or email ben@marketinggloucester.co.uk.

Notes for Editors

Connections Destination Partners

Destination Plymouth Ltd.

Destination Bristol Ltd.

English Riviera BID Company Ltd.

Essex County Council

Hampshire County Council

Lincolnshire County Council

Marketing Gloucester Ltd.

Visit Cambridge and Beyond

Visit Cornwall CIC.

Visit Hertfordshire Ltd.

Visit Kent Ltd.

Visit Nottinghamshire

Visit Worcestershire Ltd.

 

About the Discover England Fund

  • In November 2015, the Government announced a £40 million Discover England Fund; an unprecedented opportunity for English tourism. The Fund aims to deliver world-class bookable tourism products joined up across geographies and/or themes; including integrated transport solutions to provide an end-to-end customer experience.
  • The Fund supports the growth of one of England’s most successful export industries, inbound tourism. Tourism is an industry that delivers jobs and economic growth across the English regions – contributing some £106bn each year to the economy and supporting 2.6 million jobs.
  • The Fund supported a number of pilot projects in year one (2016/17) that tested product development approaches. In years two and three, 2017-19, the fund will support:
    • A number of large-scale collaborative projects to be delivered over the two year period 2017-2019 that will create a step-change in bookable English tourism product for international consumers,
    • A smaller funding pot for new one year pilot projects (in year two), and
    • Continuation funding for existing year one projects that demonstrated early learnings (in year two).

 

About VisitBritain/VisitEngland

  • VisitBritain/VisitEngland is the national tourism agency – a non-departmental public body funded by the Department for Digital, Culture, Media & Sport (DCMS)
  • Working with a wide range of partners in both the UK and overseas, our mission is to grow the volume and value of inbound tourism across the nations and regions of Britain and to develop world-class English tourism product to support our growth aspirations. For further information and to access the latest in-depth market intelligence and statistics visit visitbritain.org or www.visitbritain.com and www.visitengland.com for consumer information.

 

About Marketing Gloucester

  • Promotes the City as a great place to live, work, study, visit and invest; locally, nationally and internationally.
  • Organises award-winning events and festivals, delivering to the city and region hundreds of thousands of visitors and millions of pounds of GVA*.
  • Engages with businesses and investors.
  • Implements programmes to develop pride of place amongst residents.
  • Partners with Gloucester City Council, gFirst LEP, Cotswolds Tourism and Gloucestershire County Council.

Marketing Gloucester is a public private partnership.

 

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UK’s first Digital Retail Innovation Centre to be opened in Gloucester

Gloucestershire’s Local Enterprise Partnership, GFirst LEP have announced a funding award of £400,000 to Marketing Gloucester to open a new national centre for digital retail innovation in the city.

The UK Digital Retail innovation Centre (UK:DRIC) will be the national centre for testing and developing disruptive digital innovations that will help shape and inform the future of cities with a special focus on retail.

 

The centre will be:

  • The national independent centre for technology solution providers and retailers to test innovative technologies and work in partnership to enhance and develop new and possibly disruptive solutions
  • A supportive incubator and catapult for high growth new retailers, all of whom will have access to next generation technologies and methodologies and will be targeted on rapid testing of their business model and growth
  • A centre for upskilling retailers in new and developing retail technologies and methodologies
  • UK:DRIC will be based on the first floor of the Eastgate Shopping Centre in Gloucester for an initial period of three years.

Diane Savory, Chair of GFirst LEP, commented “This is an exciting opportunity for Gloucestershire as it further demonstrates that our urban areas are proving to be leaders in the developing of innovation in digital retail solutions.  We are delighted to be able to award this funding to Marketing Gloucester and confident that it will lead to further inward investment from the private and public sectors.”

UKDRIC

The UK:DRIC promises to be a showcase and testbed for the latest retail technologies and could show off some future innovations such as holographic “virtual employees”, artificial intelligence, 3D scanning and printing of products, drone deliveries, robotic security guards, 360 virtual mirrors and near field communication.

 

Jason Smith, Chief Executive of Marketing Gloucester (whose team will be driving the project), said “This is a huge opportunity for Gloucester to progress in our ambition to be a showcase and testbed for digital technologies, developing the city of 2050 by 2025.  There are huge challenges facing the UK retail sector and the UK Digital Retail Innovation Centre has the potential to be a gamechanger which could have a national impact, we greatly appreciate the investment from GFirst LEP.”

Paul James, Leader of Gloucester City Council, explained why this new centre was so important for the city saying: “Gloucester is ideally positioned to be a pathfinder for the

development of new technologies, the past few years companies we have shown how innovative we as a city can be.  We were the first city to implement the three in one CCTV, Wifi and 4G solution, winning the prestigious Gordon McLanaghan Security Innovation Award; and have built up a wide range of partners such as Google’s Niantic Labs, #WDYT, Rewarding Visits and BT who have tested their technologies in the city.  There is huge potential for additional inward investment and additional jobs and this investment from GFirst LEP can act as a catalyst.”

 

Innovations demonstrate future digital high street solutions

Integrating digital solutions can boost loyalty and grow sales. The Alexander Black showcase features more than 40 practical solutions for retailers to transform customer and employee experience, improving operational efficiency at the same time.

The showcase illustrates five journeys fundamental to the digital transformation of the physical store:

  • seamless engagement of digital consumers
  • mobilisation of digital store teams
  • digitisation of store operations
  • securing of the digital transformation
  • the use data analytics to drive business insight.

Demonstrations include:

 

Interactive Shop Window

Shop and get information even when the store is closed.  An interactive store window that lets customers engage with the content.

 

Interactive Shop Window Hoarding

An example of how you can create excitement, engagement and build customer interest in your brand whilst the store is being built.  Content can be refreshed, customers can engage, gain information – retailers can capture customer data in advance of the store opening.

 

Customer Mobile Application

An example of a self-contained app that will enable functionality like Store Check-In; connection to in-store Wi-Fi, retrieve customer information and loyalty programmes/promotions – and much more

 

Customer ‘Check-in’/Loyalty

That first all important opportunity to engage with the customer as they enter the store.  Using NFC or QR Code the customer can check-in to the store. Tailored & personalised messages & promotions can be delivered. Ability to check-in/register using ‘social connectors’ like Facebook/Twitter.

 

Returning Customer ‘Check-in’/Loyalty

Provides the opportunity to engage with a “returning” customer as they approach and enter the store.  Where the solution is fully integrated into back office systems like CRM it provides a 360 degree review of all their interaction with the retailer – across all channels of engagement – and enables the delivery of tailored & personalised messages & promotions to the customer.

 

In-store music 

Music acts powerfully on human emotions and helps to add to the overall customer experience in store.  Fully managed plug and play audio player with brand appropriate playlist delivered to store – playlist refreshed frequently; player is monitored and alerts provided if not working/unplugged.  Legal compliance is demonstrated as the ‘making available and music duplication rights’ are included – only performing rights licences required in addition.  Stores can be clustered to receive different programming; radio commercials can be developed and inserted – and can generate additional revenue stream if ‘air time’ sold to brands within the store.

 

Scent Diffuser 

Create immediate all round brand experience by interacting with all the customer’s sensory drivers.  As customers enter a short burst of scent meets them.

 

‘Lift & Place Kiosk’ – using RFID  

As products are lifted from the glass shelf and placed on the shelf below this triggers product information; videos, suggestions and recommendations, product reviews.  Can also be set to trigger alarms for the store manager if high priced items remain off the shelf for longer than dictated by set business rules.

 

Proximity marketing – using beacon

Proximity triggered content/messaging, in this instance providing product content of the items worn by the mannequin. Can provide in-store way finding to items; create personalized product recommendations; alert sales associate to assemble items in fitting room; facilitate self-service purchase in-store or for home delivery and provide promotional incentive to purchase.

 

‘Intelligent Fitting Room’ – using RFID technology  

RFID reader automatically identifies number and which items are taken into the fitting room. Customer is presented with additional product information, recommendations and suggestions.  Sends an alert to sales associate device for additional items/different sizes/colours a customer wants to try without leaving the fitting room.  Provides detailed analytics to the retailer around: conversion; sales associate best practice; fitting room utilisation etc.

 

‘Interactive Touch Table’ – using RFID technology 

In this instance product used is cosmetics, but any product could be used to drive the interaction/customer engagement.  Detailed product information; suggestions/recommendations can be provided for the customer to self-serve or can be used by the sales associate to engage with the customer.  Videos can be shown as to how to use the products.

 

‘Interactive Touch Table’ – Product/Fashion Configurator  

Personalise your own products e.g. create your own trainers choose the base colour, graphic design, shoe laces, play with different designs and colours.

 

Tablet triggered digital display (Fling) 

Sales Associate using a tablet assists a customer to find an item – once found, sales associate can push or “fling” the product and detailed information to any larger in-store screen including video wall for better product representation – supports endless aisle for boutique/smaller store footprints.  Customer could also ‘personalise’ a product on a tablet device and push personally designed product to larger screen before committing to purchase.

 

Visualife

Visualife is an augmented reality app, utilising visual discovery to bring the physical world to life in the same frame as the physical item. And by tapping your mobile screen the digital content associated with the physical image can go with you.

 

Sporting Personality linked Merchandise

When sporting merchandise is tapped/scanned via intelligent/smart label it provides visual imagery and video associated with the sporting personality of that brand

 

Digital Sales Associate

Beacon pushes product information to the sales associate (not the customer) to enable sales associate to provide customer with detailed information at point of consideration.

 

‘Intelligent/Smart Labels/Shelf Talkers – using NFC or QR codes

A number throughout the store that when tapped or scanned will provide additional detailed product information; customer reviews, provide an overall look recommendation and incentivise with a promotional offer to purchase all the items. Outfit pairing via a recommendation engine integrated into the shelf talker can suggest outfits, depending on customer mood, preference, weather or previous purchase. Enables interaction with social media for brand advocacy.

 

‘Memory Mirror’

Allows the customer a 360 degree of themselves in the outfit they have tried on.  Mirror has in-built camera which is set on a slight delay.  Customer performs a ‘catwalk shimmy’ turns back to face the mirror and can see themselves from all angles in the outfit!  Picture can be posted on social media channels or emailed to friends/family to request opinion prior to purchase.

 

‘Art Wall’ – Window 

Demonstrates the ‘wow’ factor that a number of screens positioned together can achieve – and that different content can be managed on each of the screens (all content is centrally managed).  Creates a wonderful brand experience.

 

RFID for Inventory Management

All our merchandise uses 100% recycled paper RFID tags.  We have a number of traditional and innovative hand held RFID devices and overhead/in-store readers to quickly demonstrate an accurate inventory live count in store; prevent loss and find misplaced items.

 

Intelligent care labels  

A 2D code on the woven garment care label provides link to full traceability information eg.

origin of the fabrics, the country of manufacture, the factory produced in and associated testing information etc. Consumers are increasingly concerned about ethical sourcing, compliance to legal standards and how and where their products are made – and this isn’t any more just limited to food.

 

Small screen – cross departmental promotion 

Demonstrates usage of smaller digital endpoints. Will run cross department promotional offer for coffee in grocery department

 

Home Inspirer 

Application running a tablet allows customers to view virtual models of furniture within a custom designed room.  Customer can adjust the floor finishes, wall colours and furniture finishes to resemble their own space and preferences and place furniture within. Either with the support of a sales associate or self-guided. When happy the resultant image it can be pushed up to larger 55” screen.

 

Mobile POS 

Free up your sales associates from fixed positions in store, quickly offer more ways to pay at busy times – or to quickly enable a pop-up store.  Our mobile solution offers the full power, features and functionality that you would enjoy from a fixed POS solution including: ApplePay, mobile payments, digital receipts and shared peripherals like printers and cash drawers.

 

Wine and Food Matching – using Intel Real Sense Camera 

As a customer picks up a bottle of wine, information about the wine, similar wines to try and suggestions of food matching appear on the screen in front of them

 

Recipe information and cooking video

Intelligent label linked to products on display will include recipe and cooking video

 

Queue Buster

An interactive solution that enables you to continue shopping until the counter staff are free to serve you when you receive an alert.  Greatly enhances customer experience and increases sales as customers who would have previously seen a long wait in a queue and decided to skip purchase, are more likely to see the perceived wait as shorter as they can continue shopping in the meantime.

 

Chiller Cabinet – temperature monitoring

Real-time temperature monitoring, providing consistent delivery of data to ensure full compliance.  Data can be accessed through

 

Shelf Hawk

Cameras are focussed on key product areas in a store and the imaging technology recognises the product and shelf layout. This could be used to gauge planogram compliance and auto replenishment.

 

Digimarc Barcode 

The Digimarc Barcode encodes existing bar code data invisibly and repeatedly across all package surfaces thereby making the entire package scannable at checkout. This could significantly reduce checkout times for retailers and boosting the average number of items scanned per minute.

 

Hologram

A little bit of theatre to entertain and reinforce the brand experience.  Brings to life physical products/brands in a magical 3D holographic story enabling customers to connect emotionally to the product/brand and create impact in sometimes very crowded stores. A promotional vehicle that retailers can offer to brand owners to support promotional or product launch activity

 

Interactive Floor 

A multi-media visual display system that project wonderful interactive floor special effects – this can be games to entertain children – or advertisements on the floor to draw attraction to promotional messaging or product launches.  Users control the dynamic multi-media content with simple gestures and body movement.  It is an engaging interactive experience that immerses customers in a brand’s messaging and adds to the overall customer experience.

 

Digital Menu Boards  

Menu boards using digital signage enables dynamic changing of menu and prices based on product availability and product demand/traffic.  All content is centrally controlled and for example promotional change in pricing can be implemented nationally store wide immediately – or for a particular region or cluster of stores.

 

Café Ordering App

The Connected Café ordering solution allows you to order your favourite cup of coffee and include a photo of yourself.  When your coffee is ready, your own picture pops up on the screen.  Perceived wait time is reduced with an entertaining and engaging experience.  Experience it for real in the Café …we will make you the coffee you order!

VCS/Arts and looking for funding in Gloucestershire? See here http://www.glosvcsalliance.org.uk/external-funding-opportunities-bulletin/

Funding Opportunities Bulletin – 5 September 2017

The latest version of the bulletin is available on the Gloucestershire VCS Alliance website at http://www.glosvcsalliance.org.uk/external-funding-opportunities-bulletin/.

Key highlights:
• Stroud District Community Safety Partnership is inviting applications from groups within Stroud District for projects which meet the Police and Crime Commissioner priorities for 2017/2021. Page 16
• The Stroud Rotary Community Awards aim to support organisations with a small grant which will make a real difference. Page 17
• The Aviva Community Fund opens to applications on 12 September. Page 18
• The DM Thomas Foundation for Young People has announced the #IamABLE £20,000 Giveaway in connection with their latest #IamABLE campaign. Page 33
• The Jeans for Genes grants programme is open for applications until 30 September. Funding is available to charities and support groups that care for children affected by a genetic disorder such as Cystic fibrosis, Haemophilia and Sickle cell. Page 54
• The UK Theatres Small Grants Scheme has re-opened for applications. Page 65
• The Try for Change Fund large grants programme is open for applications for projects which use rugby to tackle a number of social challenges. Page 92
• The Government has launched a Litter Innovation Fund to reduce litter by funding innovative solutions. Page 98
• The LESS CO2 sustainable schools programme is a free energy efficiency programme available to any UK school. Page 102
• Four Gloucestershire projects have been shortlisted in the M&S Community Energy Awards and are seeking your vote. Page 103
• The Prince’s Countryside Fund is open until 5 October. Page 107
• The NatWest Skills and Opportunities Fund is open for applications until 22 September. The priority for the South West is to support projects that help people investigate self-employment and start their own business; and to improve the financial education of disadvantaged people. Page 114
• UnLtd’s Do It and Grow It Awards have re-opened for applications. Awards are made for projects that have a social impact and for social entrepreneurs to scale up their venture. Page 121
• Localgiving is running its Grow Your Tenner 2017 campaign for its members with a special emphasis on monthly giving. Page 122
• The next funding round from the Austin and Hope Pilkington Trust is open to registered charities with a minimum income of £500,000 for projects that relate to the Elderly. Page 126
• British Legion’s External Grant Scheme has re-opened for applications. Page 146
The funding bulletin updates are available to anyone with a base and operating in Gloucestershire. We welcome your feedback on this bulletin and success you have in receiving funding from the funders listed.

Sign up for the Alliance newsletter for news and events for VCS organisations in the county. To receive the funding updates or our newsletter, email info@glosvcsalliance.org.uk or complete the contact us form on our website at http://www.glosvcsalliance.org.uk/contact/.

The Gloucestershire VCS Alliance champions the voluntary and community sector in Gloucestershire. To learn more about what we do, please visit http://www.glosvcsalliance.org.uk.

 

 

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10 Reasons the future is bright for Gloucester’s City Centre

  • Gloucester’s own Business Improvement District (BID) – Overwhelmingly approved by traders in a ballot, this will bring £2.4 million of investment in supporting the city centre over the next 5 years.
  • City Protection Officers – Supported by the BID, City Council and Police & Crime Commissioner, City Protection Officers will take to the city centre streets in the next few weeks. They will deal with anti-social behaviour and tackle environmental offences like dropping litter.
  • More students – 300 University of Gloucestershire students will be living at Blackfriars in a year’s time, with more to follow thanks to the expansion of the University and Hartpury College.
  • Project Pilgrim – Already making good progress, this multi-million pound Heritage Lottery Fund scheme will improve the setting and the facilities at the Cathedral, our biggest asset.
  • Kings Walk – Now bought by a partnership of Reef Estates and the City Council, much-needed investment in this rather tired shopping centre will happen very soon.
  • Former BHS store – Standing empty after the department store went bust, rumours have it that this prominent unit will be filled by a big name (or two) following a major refurbishment, giving Eastgate Street a major boost.  Annoucements are apparently due very shortly
  • Former Kwik Save site – This long-term derelict site bordering Black Dog Way, Northgate Street and Worcester Street is being developed for 90 new homes, bringing more people to live in the city centre.
  • New bus station – We’ve been waiting for it long enough, but the new bus station will be finished next August. Even with some enforced design changes, it will be a million times better than what we’ve been used to.
  • Jumpin Jaks – This former nightclub on Brunswick Road has been derelict for well over a decade. Work has now started to reopen it as a bar/restaurant/club.
  • Digital High Street – Gloucester has positioned itself at the forefront of the digital high street revolution. This won’t mean much to a lot of people at the moment, but long-term it’s vital for the city centre’s prosperity.  Further announcements in October

The FACTS on Gloucester’s retail landscape since 2010 – 40% fewer empty shops!

In light of the recent article on Gloucestershire Live and some of the subsequent comments the following will be useful in setting the matters straight – demonstrating that the true story of Gloucester’s retail environment has been one of steady improvement and success over the last 7 years:

It is true that the city has gone through difficult times.  In 2010 the BBC reported on data issued by The Local Data company that stated that Gloucester had amongst the highest number of empty shops in the UK http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/uk-england-gloucestershire-11925423 . The city’s retail vacancy rate in 2010 was recorded at a high 21%.

Since then a lot has changed.  Millions of pounds have been invested in city regenertaion and a strategy was formulated and action taken to stimulate growth, with the city council high street initiatives providing funding and rate rebates to new businesses.  Funding has been put aside for grants to enable renovation of the city’s historic shops and investment continues to be made in Marketing Gloucester to help deliver footfall driving events and promote the city, something that has been highly effective with visitor numbers increasing by over 60% since 2013.

From 2010 to today there has been a 40% reduction in the number of empty shops

Today the retail vacancy rate for the whole city is 11.6% with Retail vacancy rate for the four Gate streets, Kings Square and the historic central Gloucester having fallen to 12.4% – this is almost exactly the same as the current national average for retail vacancy rates which is 12.3%.  By any measurement this is a success story.

Central Gloucester

Currently, Gloucester Quays, the Business Engagement team at Marketing Gloucester and the city council are receiving high levels of inquiries from national and local organisations who wish to follow the example of TK Maxx , Ted Baker and Cote Brasserie whose research has shown Gloucester as and ideal place to locate.   There has also been a crop of independent businesses starting up or expanding in the city.  There are many more ready to invest in the beautiful historic city.

The failing of Argos, BHS and a small Coop shop should not be seen as harbingers of doom for the city but are merely reflections of national retailers with failed models of operating or those seeking to change their operating practice.

The current successes though are likely to be nothing compared to those that are ahead in the bright future for the city.  There are currently massive regeneration projects going on around the city that will further stimulate growth. In 2016 Gloucester’s population overtook that of Cheltenham and is set to continue to rise, this  in itself will stimulate the retail sector further and lead to lower vacancies, as will the location of thousands of students to Gloucester by the University of Gloucester.

Yes the FACTS on Gloucester’s retail landscape since 2010 – show 40% fewer empty shops with plenty or reasons to believe that the improvement will continue.

 

 

 

 

 

Regards

Gloucester wins prestigious innovation award for Marketing Gloucester initiative led by Cllr Jennie Watkins

A trailblazing combination of three key elements will make Gloucester one of the best connected cities in the UK

​CCTV, wi-fi and enhanced mobile communications are all part of a pioneering project which was launched by BT and Gloucester City Council in 2015 driven through by Cllr Jennie Watkins based on recommendations by the team at Marketing Gloucester, who lead on the digital strategy for the city.

The development – the first of its kind in the UK – included the introduction of a free public wi-fi service for tourists and people living and working in Gloucester city centre. Laptops, tablets and mobile devices will all be able to connect to it.

There is also be a new state-of-the-art CCTV service and control room, and improved mobile phone coverage for 4G and other new services.

City is on the ball with pioneering project

City is on the ball with pioneering project
Paul Coles is BT regional manager for Gloucestershire and the South West.

Councillor Jennie Watkins is cabinet member for communities and neighbourhoods at Gloucester City Council.

 

Paul Coles says the project makes Gloucester one of the best connected cities in the UK.

He added: “It’s great to see Gloucester pioneering this approach. We hope to repeat it in other towns and cities.”

Installation of wireless access points and 50 new high-definition CCTV cameras has taken place across the city.

The new digital service  provides clearer images, enable security teams to zoom in on potential trouble spots, and gather evidence with high-quality images.

Councillor Jennie Watkins says the development is fantastic news for both locals and visitors to Gloucester – “Once it was evidenced to us by Marketing Gloucester that we could leverage the funding we had budgeted for CCTV to also provide a step change in WIFI and 4G digital infrastructure, it become obvious to me that we should seize the opportunity especially since it would allow us to pursue our goals for digital inclusion and to be a connected city.”

On the back of this innovative solution, Gloucester City Council scooped the prestigious Gordon McLanaghan Security Innovation Award at the MSC annual educational security seminar on Monday evening (14th November 2016) staged at the Bristol Hotel.  The independent chairman of the judging panel Professor Kamal Beckoum, the Head of School Computing and Technology at the University of Gloucester delivered the verdict of the judges at the formal dinner where he identified the multiple benefits the new Gloucester City Council CCTV system creates with a more secure environment (through higher quality CCTV) and a greater access to free public wifi along with improved 4G coverage

20161114 - Global MSC Bristol Hotel by Jon Craig @JonCraig_Photos 07778606070

The award was made by The Right Honourable Lord Mayor of Bristol, Councillor Jeff Lovell.

The photo shows (from L – R) Roger Hardiman (consultant), Amy Kedward (BCC Emergency Control Room Manager),Gill Ragon (Gloucester City Council), The Lord Mayor of Bristol, Jeff Lovell, Derek Maltby (MD – Global MSC Security), Andy Kilmurry, (Gloucester Police), Ed Pomfret (Gloucester City Council)

The council beat off stiff competition from Cumbria Police, the Metropolitan Police and North Somerset Council.

In addition to winning the prestigious Bristol Blue Glass Trophy, the winners were awarded a cheque to the value of £1,000.

 

https://www.btplc.com/BTToday/NewsList/Cityisontheballwithpioneeringproject/index.htm

 

British High Streets: from Crisis to Recovery? A Comprehensive Review of the Evidence

Well worth reading this document http://thegreatbritishhighstreet.co.uk/pdf/GBHS-British-High-Streets-Crisis-to-Recovery.pdf?2

Town centres and high streets provided highly visible and graphic evidence of the scale of the economic downturn. The crash in consumer confidence was followed by an immediate and abrupt increase in vacancies. Vacancy  measured as either a percentage of floorspace in a centre or in terms of the percentage of empty property units (voids) more than doubled over the five years from 2008 – in the case of voids rising from 7% in 2008 to a peak of 16.3% in 2012, before trending downwards as the economy began to recover, falling to 15.1% by October 2013, and again to 13% by April 2014.
Significantly, the shockwave also exposed and reinforced longer-term underlying forces of change which had been reconfiguring UK town centres and high streets for some time, but which had been somewhat masked during the ‘growth’ years of the early/mid 2000s. Not all those forces, it must be stressed, were negative for the high street. The period of turmoil offered new opportunities for those businesses which could change and adapt. These forces of change included short term pressures of economic shock from the recession, and medium term forces such as planning policy and institutional support for town centres and high streets in the face of competition from alternative retail locations.

In turn, the short and medium term forces combined with long term pressures including the disruptive effects of online retailing, changing demographics, and significant shifts in consumer behaviour which underpinned the rise of what has been termed ‘convenience
culture’, to produce a period.

What UK can learn from 5G in USA, Korea and Japan. Gloucester – the ideal test-bed

Cellcos don’t need 5G for people to make phone calls – their existing 4G networks have more than enough bandwidth for that. Cellcos also don’t need 5G for IoT applications, except for uses such as smart cars and smart cities because most IoT devices use very little bandwidth – although some need the low-latency that 5G provides. What cellcos need is to make 5G economically feasible for them. For that cellcos need people to watch lots and lots of videos that take lots of bandwidth, especially 4K videos, live streaming, VR and AR. The thought of live streaming has cellcos drooling. Notice what Verizon said about one reason it paid almost $5 billion to acquire Yahoo – live streaming of sports.

shutterstock_236128771

Verizon CEO Lowell McAdam recently confirmed that Verizon is on target for beginning its launch of a commercially available service in 2017 by saying, during a recap of the company’s financial returns, “we see the stars aligning very quickly when it comes to the 5G future.” He also said the FCC has finished its radio specifications, which makes it feasible to begin testing of technical components. McAdam said Verizon’s work with 5G and the millimeter wave spectrum it will use is “preparing us for a fixed commercial wireless fiber launch in 2017.” McAdam added that the FCC’s approval of Verizon’s spectrum lease deal with XO Communications provides a “clear spectrum path for 5G deployment.”

Verizon clearly has its 5G eye on wireless broadband to homes. McAdam said, “I think of 5G, initially as, in effect, wireless fiber. With wireless fiber, the so-called last mile can be a virtual connection dramatically changing our cost structure.” He said the most expensive part of deploying its FiOS fiber network is just outside and inside the home, an expense that would not exist with the use of 5G. He said that FiOS and 5G routers cost the same, but that 5G doesn’t use an optical network terminal (ONT) that is typically mounted on an outside wall. McAdam said Verizon expects there will be a significant cost reduction when 5G becomes available.

Verizon, together with Ericsson and Nokia, has been testing 5G in Dallas, New Jersey and Virginia. The speeds it’s getting are truly fantastic for a wireless cellular network. McAdams said that in its tests, it has been getting speeds above 1 Gbps at over 500 yards, which is more than enough for up to six 4K TV signals, six virtual reality units and multiple smartphones and tablets.

McAdam said Verizon’s now in the process of moving that work into the field, where it can start to cover 200-home developments. It will also look at some rural environments.

Unlike 3G, 4G and WiFi, 5G is said to have the latency and steadfastness that, until now, only wireline networks could offer.

McAdam didn’t say it specifically, but 5G, if it performs as promised, will substantially reduce the costs of building wireline broadband networks because telcos do not have to install any wiring within the last 100-500 or so yards (meters) of the home. Telcos and cablecos will still need to install fiber to within 100-500 yards of the home. At that point it will install a 5G cell, probably on a utility pole or building, and then a 5G-capable router in the home – no digging up streets and yards or installing wires on utility poles. Telcos could install fiber to an MDU (Multiplexer and Distribution Unit), of which the world has millions, and then install a 5G cell in or just outside the MDU to offer high-speed broadband to the MDU’s residences.

5G could serve broadband services providers as a wireless form of G.fast or VDSL broadband technologies – with no wires required. Cablecos, who already install fiber close to the residence, could also use 5G instead of installing coax to and inside the residence. It is still not clear whether service providers will use 5G to connect each device to the internet or whether the 5G cell will connect to a router in the home, which will then connect to each device via WiFi or a wireline home network.

Verizon boasts about having built the US’ “best” 4G network. It was the first major telco in the world to build an all-fiber network – albeit in only 70% of its copper wire footprint. The cost of installing fiber over the last mile to the home may have prevented it from going all-fiber throughout its entire wireline footprint. 5G could solve that problem. It could also allow Verizon to offer high-speed broadband outside its wireline footprint – wherever its recently acquired XO Communications fiber rings exist. That would for the first time put Verizon in direct competition with AT&T, who could also do the same by building more fiber networks to near residences. Verizon could become a nationwide broadband powerhouse, something that’s sure to have Comcast and AT&T thinking about doing the same.

Verizon is simultaneously building a media company with the AOL and Yahoo assets it acquired, a media company that it is positioning for streaming content to millions of consumers.

McAdam said Verizon can add 5G to its existing cellular network for very little additional cost because it will densify its existing 4G networks with small cells.

Verizon CFO and SVP Fran Shammo said 2017 will be a development year for 5G, but added that the FCC’s approval this week of its spectrum leases with XO could move up its deployments “to get to a commercial launch and actually start to generate revenue.” He said, “I think that will come in either very late 2017 or early 2018.”

Verizon said it will later on test use cases for mobile 5G that supports the “massive” scale and low-latency that IoT services require.

Other cellcos such as AT&T and Korea Telecom (KT) are working to begin deploying 5G sooner than its 2020 forecast date. AT&T is pressured by Verizon and AT&T’s own massive and costly effort to upgrade its aging wireline broadband network to all-fiber and to G.fast over existing copper phone wires to MDUs.

KT is pressured by the upcoming 2018 Winter Olympics that South Korea is hosting. Japanese cellco NTT DoCoMo is testing 5G for the real-time transmission of 8K video. It completed tests with Nokia on May 19. The tests used beam-tracking techniques to transmit millimeter wavelength signals at the extremely high frequency of 70 GHz. The trial showed that 8K video of 48 Gbps, which is four times larger than 4K video and 32 times than 1080p HD, was transmitted without any delays. Japan hosts the 2020 summer Olympics and wants to show off wireless streaming of it in 8K.

Streaming videos, especially live streaming, is very important to Verizon’s wireless strategy. It said its $4.83 billion acquisition of Yahoo’s operating businesses will help it become a bigger player in mobile media. McAdam said Verizon sees “tremendous opportunity in the digital video marketplace” and “content creators and advertisers are hungry for alternatives as the market expands for both in-home and mobile consumption. Verizon intends to be a significant player in this space.”

Verizon especially likes sports videos because it can stream games over its Go90 network, cellular network, FiOS, AOL and Yahoo. McAdam said, “we view this as a waterfall of content moving down through our different properties.”

McAdam said Verizon is moving ahead with cities such as Boston, San Fran-cisco and others on a one-fiber strategy for both cellular and FiOS. He said, “no longer are discussions solely about local franchise rights, but how to make forward-looking cities more productive and effective” and that its deal to acquire XO’s 40 metro fiber rings in major cities is the key to this strategy.

Credit: http://rethinkresearch.biz/articles/verizon-will-first-use-5g-create-fixed-wireless-broadband-networks/