The Fastershire project is seeking the services of a suitably qualified consultant to help crystallise an understanding of the need, demand, opportunity, and potential for pervasive full fibre connectivity within the urban localities of Gloucestershire. The study will need to identify the needs of and available infrastructure assets owned by public sector partners including local councils, the NHS and emergency services as well as the education sector. Additionally it will need to investigate and assess the appetite of various private sector organisations to leverage the demand and assets of the public sector to generate full fibre connectivity more widely. In the first instance to key business parks, regeneration zones, GPs Surgeries and student accommodation but potentially further providing all pervasive residential and business access to full fibre access across the Study Area.
Organisers of the inaugural Gloucester Folk Trail have released their much-anticipated line up for a weekend of free live music in the city. Gloucester pubs, bars and cafes will play host to the county’s finest folk musicians from Friday 23 to Sunday 25 February. The venues will throng with gig-goers as more than forty live performances take place across the city ranging from traditional folk acts and Morris dancers to thoroughly modern folk rock.
The Gloucester Folk Trail is one of the first events to be delivered by the Gloucester Business Improvement District with the aim of supporting the city’s night time economy.
Just some of the highlights amongst the stellar line up are:
This thoroughly modern folk-rock band from Gloucestershire have graced the stages at the Phoenix Festival, Wychwood and Birmingham Jazz and Blues Festival. The band’s sound with a mix of folk, rock and country, has earned rave reviews from BBC Radio Gloucestershire’s Johnny Coppin, the Gloucestershire Echo and SoGlos.
A super group featuring top Gloucestershire Bluesmen Rick Edwards and Mark Cole from Sons of the Delta, along with another favourite of the Gloucester Rhythm and Blues Festival, Keith Thompson. They are joined in this folk-roots project by vocalist and ukulele star, Sarah Kelly, and drummer, Martin Fitzgibbon.
A rip-roaring, foot stomping band are infamous in the pubs and beer festivals Gloucestershire for their sing-along traditional Irish songs and fast-paced jigs and reels to get you up on the dance floor.
Way Out West
The wonderfully eccentric Way Out West bring their folk non-sensibilities to world of pop. On accordions, fiddle, guitar, banjo and ukulele, the hilarious three-piece help us discover the country roots of the Pet Shop Boys, the folk origins of the Spice Girls and The Smiths and what the Pussycat Dolls sounded like when Julie Andrews was still in the line-up.
Life O’Reilly grew out of the live Irish music sessions held in and around Gloucestershire. Their mixture of guitar, fiddle, bodhran, tin whistles and stunning vocals recreate the much-loved feel of Irish folk music and their live performances show off their love and passion for the songs and tunes of the Irish tradition.
Natasha Roumian, of Marketing Gloucester who are organising the event on behalf of Gloucester BID, said: “Building on the successful model of the Gloucester Rhythm and Blues Festival, we are really excited to bring the Folk Trail to Gloucester. Although this is the first one, we are treating the Folk Trail as a test, and if successful, it will become a welcome addition to the Gloucester events calendar.”
Nick Brookes, Chair of the Gloucester BID, said: “Gloucester BID has been set up to support all of its business members across all sectors including those in the evening economy. The inaugural Gloucester Folk Trail is the first of many events that the BID will be supporting which we believe will drive footfall, improve the profile of the city and bring real benefits to the BID’s business members.”
Concertgoers are also invited to the Gloucester Folk Trail Preview Night on Thursday 22 February with a gig at TANK and an Open Mic event at The Old Bell.
For more information visit https://www.glosucesterfolktrail.com or search for ‘Gloucester Folk Trail 2018’ on Facebook.
For more information contact Ben Hau at email@example.com
Below is a link to the Centre for Cities 2018 report which includes information on Gloucester.
The report uses very sound metrics but it is nevertheless important to note that the geographic area relates to just the area covered by the local authority (LAU1) – in this case Gloucester city council. This means that the report’s conclusion on jobs, skills and so-on would not for example include data on businesses at Twigworth, Gloucester Business park, Staverton and so-on which for the purpose of this report are excluded.
Highlights include Gloucester:
- Schools performing in top quartile nationally
- Ranked 4th of 63 cities for having highest employment rates (structurally full employment)
- 2% of city exports to China and growing
- High level of services exports
- Good levels of growth in high value jobs c.f. many cities (but still middle ranked)
With the proposed Super City suggested in the #Glos2050 Big Conversation, we have asked Andrew Carter CEO of Centre for Cities would run an exercise using current benchmarks to see how these figures would be affected if the model was working today. Marketing Gloucester will be assisting in providing data. Currently Centre for Cities do not include Cheltenham as it falls below the threshold (135,000 users per day).
For further information contact firstname.lastname@example.org
Reinvigorated over the past three years by the ATCM, there are now 70 Purple Flag towns and cities and the positive response both by place managers, local businesses and venues, and the public is testament to the difference that this great initiative can make.
Coming Soon: Purple Flag For Colleges & Universities
How Does It Work?
By meeting or surpassing the standards of excellence in managing the evening and night time economy (ENTE), Place Managers throughout the UK and Ireland – and now being taken up internationally – are enjoying the benefits of Purple Flag status.
Those already accredited have reported positive feedback from local businesses, a clear message for improved communications and a platform from which to promote their night time economy.
The accreditation process takes towns and cities through a comprehensive set of standards, management processes and good practice examples all designed to help transform the ENTE and provide a research, training and development programme.
Why should you apply for Purple Flag?
Our research indicates that Purple Flag can bring real benefits which include:
- A raised profile and an improved public image for the location
- A wider patronage, increased expenditure
- Lower crime and anti-social behaviour
- A more successful mixed use economy in the longer term
As the governing body, ATCM has set out the core agenda at the heart of Purple Flag which represents the standards that must be achieved and maintained for a accreditation, which in turn will lead to a successful evening economy. These five core standards are outlined here.
- The Policy Envelope: An after-hours policy that shows a clear strategy based on sound research, integrated public policy and a successful multi-sector partnership.
- Wellbeing: Successful destinations are all safe and welcoming with all sectors playing their part in delivering high standards of customer care.
- Movement: Getting home safely after an evening out is crucial, as is the ability to move around the centre on foot with ease.
- Appeal: Successful destinations offer a vibrant choice of leisure and entertainment for a diversity of ages, groups, lifestyles and cultures.
- Place: Successful areas are alive during the day, as well as in the evening. They contain a blend of overlapping activities that encourage people to mingle and enjoy the place. They reinforce the character and identity of the area as well as flair and imagination in urban design for the night.
If you believe your city or town has safe and vibrant night time economy, then you are encouraged to apply for Purple Flag accreditation. Local authorities, town centre partnerships, business improvement districts, crime and disorder reduction partnerships, Pubwatch partnerships, civic societies and others can all take part. In our experience it is the Local Authority or Police who take the lead in most cases.
Former England and Gloucestershire cricketer turned artist, Jack Russell MBE, will be one of the star attractions at this year’s WSP Art in the City on Saturday 14 and Sunday 15 July. Jack will be painting at the event and showcasing his work in Gloucester city centre. Jack is no stranger to Gloucester, having played cricket for the county at Archdeacon Meadow.
WSP Art in the City celebrates creativity inspired by Gloucester’s history and heritage, its picturesque surroundings and its people. The event features a live, outdoor painting competition (Saturday), along with free workshops and an art trail throughout the city centre (Saturday and Sunday). A total of £4,000 has been offered up as prize money across the different age groups in two competitions:
Plein Air – Live outdoor painting on Saturday 14 July.
Open Art – An open contest for artwork completed in the last year based on a theme.
Artists dotted around the city centre will be competing to best capture the spirit of Gloucester and its community, in an attempt to impress the judging panel which includes P.J. Crook, Richard Parker Crook, Stroud-based Swarez and Gloucester’s very own Russell Haines.
“It’s great to be involved with Art in the City. It takes me back thirty years to my first artistic involvement with Gloucester when I drew a large picture of the Cathedral stone by stone! Also to my playing days with the County at Archdeacon Meadow, which I’ve had the pleasure to paint. I’m delighted to be having an exhibition in Gloucester during the festival which will be part of the art trail and I’m looking forward to seeing all the artists who are taking part. It’s a wonderful opportunity for people to come and express themselves, see other artists’ work and basically have a lot of fun. Even if you’ve never painted before come and have a go. It should be a magical adventure!” Jack Russell MBE
Artistic director of the festival, Russell Haines, said: “This year’s WSP Art in the City will see Gloucester turned into one huge art space with exhibitions, competitions and workshops for everyone. It’s fantastic to have Jack Russell participating this year at the centre of our art trail. There will be exhibitions large and small from a diverse range of artists in our historic buildings, cafes and shops for everyone to enjoy.”
For more information or interviews with Jack Russell and Russell Haines please contact Ben Hau at email@example.com.
Notes for Editors
A range of images are available to download at
Please credit ‘Marketing Gloucester’.
on behalf of
UK Digital Retail Innovation Centre (UK:DRIC) 20.12.2017
TENDER FOR ALTERATION AND NEW WORKS TO FIRST FLOOR EASTGATE CENTRE GLOUCESTER
We are inviting interested contractors to apply for inclusion on the tender list for these works. Application does not guarantee inclusion on the list.
The works involves removals of walls and works to ceiling and floor finishes to the vacant retail and food hall and the creation of eleven small shop units, an open area and creation of back room offices.
A brief schedule of the works to be undertaken include: demolition of brick wall and erection of stud partitions, overhaul and repairs to existing suspended ceilings, new floor finishes and general redecoration. Open front to the units will be secured by open grid roller shutters. Alteration and adaption of existing sprinkler system, the electrical and mechanical systems and provision of new as necessary,
Estimated value of these works is £200,000.00 (two hundred thousand pounds) plus VAT where applicable.
Anticipated programme of project is shown in appendix 1 available at this link> click here
Application to be included for consideration by not later than 9th January 2018.
Invitation to tender 15th January 2018
Tender submission. 31st January 2018
Commencement of works 12th February 2018
Completion of the works 15th June 2018
Contractors interested in being considered for inclusion on the tender list should submit their details by not later than 5.00pm on 9th January 2018.
Company details should provide evidence of being conversant with this type of work including a list of projects undertaken with values, copies of last three years accounts, size of workforce including details of management team, work force numbers and breakdown into direct and self-employed and areas of work normally sublet.
Application should be made to:
Mr Jason I J Smith, CEO, Marketing Gloucester, 27 St Aldate Street, Gloucester, GL1 1RP to arrive not later than 5.00pm January 2018
For further information on UK:DRIC click here
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“
AMERICAN 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.
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”.
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”.
Press enquiries: For more information, please contact Ben Hau on 01452 207020 or email firstname.lastname@example.org.
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 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).
- 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.
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.”
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.”
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.
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.
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.
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.