A high-performing city at the heart of a thriving county
Gloucester is a cathedral city located in the south-west of England and is also the county town of Gloucestershire. The city is dominated economically by a strong business and financial sector, and by the service industries. The Cheltenham and Gloucester bank has its roots in the city as well as the aerospace industry. The area has a large catchment of nearly 8.5 million people living within 90 minutes travel time and the city’s population is forecast to increase by 10% to 135,000 by 2021.
Average house prices in the city are currently 38% below the UK average, and around 4.3% lower than the average for the local region. This is one of the reasons Gloucester has been described as ‘a really good place to buy a house’ by the Gloucester Citizen newspaper. In the past few years, a figure of around £800 million has been invested or committed to major projects across Gloucester.
More shops have opened in the city since this recent investment, with the number of businesses increasing by 4.3% in 2013. This is the highest annual increase since 2004 and compared with other districts in the county, Gloucester tops the list.
There are really good links to the area via the M5 motorway, together with the M4 and M50. There is also a good rail and bus network. This connectivity is important to potential tenants when they look to settle in an area. That means Gloucester property investment is ideal for you if you’re looking for a location that is dominated economically by a strong business and financial sector.
Economy & Employment
Gloucester is at the regional forefront of innovation and aircraft engineering and produces several protected origin foodstuffs.
With over 350 businesses either starting, relocating or expanding within the city recently, commercial space in Gloucester is in demand.
Businesses based in the area currently include MessageLabs, part of Symantec, Capita Life Pensions, Zurich Financial Services Group, Aegis Insurance Messier-Dowty, the world leader in aircraft landing gear. With the huge expansion in retail in the area, there will be a high demand for additional labour force. Gloucester also produces several foodstuffs that have protected origin status. Single Gloucester cheese can only be produced in the area preferably using Gloucester cows’ milk. This, together with the world-famous annual cheese rolling competition at Cooper’s Hill, is a further boost to the economy.
£135-million master plan to regenerate land across the Quayside and Blackfriars sites was presented by the council in March 2015.
In the past 10 years, Gloucestershire County Council has secured over £700 million investment resulting in 1,000 new jobs and 700 new homes. And they don’t intend to stop there. The city is currently earmarked for over 13,000 new dwellings in order to satisfy its huge appetite for housing. The council are also proposing developing 2.9 hectares of land. They have a master plan in place to attract up to £135 million of new investment into these Quayside and Blackfriars sites.
In the region of 300 new properties will be completed by mid-2015 in the Greyfriars Quarter, on the former Gloscat college site in the city. With housing impacting on so many other things, such as the economy and health of an area, the council is working hard to increase the availability of homes for city residents, making it an excellent area for property investment. Gloucestershire Airport is set to invest £6 million between 2015 and 2025 to expand its business. The small airport is looking to build on its existing schedule, add another destination and deliver runway improvements. It is expected to have a big economic impact on both Gloucester and Cheltenham.
Schools: 7 primary, 5 secondary, 5 independent.
Notable area institutions include:
- The Crypt School, for boys aged 11 to 18 (with a mixed sixth form)
- St. Johns, for girls & boys aged 3 to 16.
- Higher Education: Hartpury College, set on 360 hectares, it has invested over £50 million to create this outstanding campus for ‘Sports Development’ covering rugby, football, rowing, netball, golf, equine and modern pentathlon.
- The University of Gloucestershire is close by in neighbouring Cheltenham. The popular University of Bristol is less than an hour’s drive away. Part of the prestigious Russell Group of top universities, the institution ranked 18th in the 2015 UK league table.
Shops & Leisure
Shopping: Gloucester Quays is a stunning new waterside development in the heart of the historic docklands. It cost £60 million to build and includes 11 restaurants, a 10-screen, 1,600-seat cinema and a range of major brand stores. This is in addition to the Eastgate and the Kings Walk Shopping Centres which gives shoppers plenty of choices.
There’s also a large antique centre which is an Aladdin’s cave of collectables and period treasures. This vibrant mixture of cultures and styles provides something for everyone the whole year round.
Leisure: The town caters brilliantly for tourists so there’s a lot to see and do. The Gloucester Waterways Museum tells the story of the docks and canals and has a number of floating exhibits. Or you could take a Harry Potter tour of Gloucester Cathedral and see the locations used in the films.
For more intrepid adventurers Gloucestershire Airport has a wide range of pleasure flights. Visitors can learn how to fly a helicopter, take a ride in a vintage bi-plane, WW2 warplane or a hot air balloon.
The city is also host to many festivals including annual antiques fair, the Tall Ships Festival, Canal Festival & even a Sea Shanty Festival. There are regular concerts and performances at Gloucester Guildhall.