Net Works
Net Works

Cheltenham business support services

Whether you are a new start-up, looking to move to Cheltenham or ready to grow, Cheltenham has a number of business support services and resources to help your business.


GFirst LEP is the Local Enterprise Partnership for Gloucestershire, and was set up by central government in 2011 to create opportunities for thousands of people across the county.

Recognised as one of the top performing LEPs in the country, since its formation, GFirst has secured more than £100 million through the Gloucestershire Growth Deal and over €40 million in European funding which has been invested in a number of projects and improved infrastructure to support economic growth across the county.

GFirst leads the county’s Inward Investment programme – Invest in Gloucestershire – which was created with a simple yet ambitious goal in mind – to showcase the best that our county has to offer to the international business community and encourage growth through inward investment.

In recent times, GFirst have been at the forefront of Gloucestershire’s response to the Covid-19 pandemic and supporting the county’s economic recovery.


The Growth Hub serves as a point of contact for businesses of all sizes and every stage of their development to access information, advice, and support for businesses in Cheltenham and the county as whole. Whether you need help with sourcing funding, developing your team or breaking into new markets, the Growth Hub is on-hand to consult, connect and collaborate.

There is a network of Growth Hubs across Gloucestershire, with established sites in Gloucester, Cirencester and Tewkesbury. A new Growth Hub in Stroud opened in 2020, with two further sites in the Forest of Dean and Cheltenham set to follow.

If you’re a start-up business, the Growth Hub offers specialised services such as:

  • Serviced office space
  • Lead mentors to act as business guides and facilitators
  • Access to key information and accredited solutions and support services
  • Gateway to Gloucestershire’s business networks

The Growth Hub’s business mentoring service provides specialised advice and support from a wide range of business disciplines including:

  • Business management
  • Finance
  • Accounting
  • Law (including IP)
  • Sales
  • Marketing
  • Recruitment
  • Manufacturing
  • Training and personal development

For more information visit The Growth Hub website.  

Ask Us business service from Gloucestershire Libraries

Gloucestershire Libraries provide an information service called Ask Us Business and Patent Library Centre (PatLib). They provide local access to patent, trade mark, designs and copyright information, to help businesses and individuals understand the different types of legal protection and how to apply to protect their intellectual property (IP) assets.


They also provide free company reports and targeted mailing lists for your marketing needs from their database Fame. Fame is a comprehensive business database and contains information on both public and private companies across the UK and Ireland.

For more information visit the Ask Us business service on the county council website.

Gloucestershire skills portal

If you are out of work, keen to learn new skills or want to start your own business, the Gloucestershire Skills Portal has range of support to help you. You can find out more about national support, local support and learning opportunities.

For more information visit The Skills Portal.  


Cheltenham Borough Council is an ambitious and award-winning local authority. In its 2019 Place Vision, CBC sets out an ambition to make Cheltenham a place where businesses and their workforces thrive, creating economic success for the town and its residents.

Responding to the Covid-19 pandemic, CBC was amongst the first local authorities across the country to consult on, approve and publish an Economic Recovery Strategy for the town.

At the heart of CBC’s ambitions is the drive to establish Cheltenham as the UK’s cyber capital. Through the Council’s leadership and its recent £37.5m purchase of land to the west of Cheltenham, plans for a new campus and cyber-tech community, Cyber Central – a 45 hectare site at the heart of the 200 hectare Golden Valley development, adjacent to the GCHQ site are now accelerating.

On a day to day basis, CBC offers free advice and guidance on business rates in Cheltenham, licencing and permits, environmental health and planning.

The council also supports the Gloucestershire Better Business For All (BBFA) partnership with the Growth Hub here in Gloucestershire. This is a local partnership to save you time and money, making your business more efficient and ultimately more profitable. The partnership currently involves licensing, environmental protection, food safety along with health and safety and has been designed to provide support, advice and guidance to all businesses, and help economic growth in the county.

To find out more visit the Cheltenham Borough Council website. 


Business Improvement Districts (BIDs) are business led partnerships designed to deliver additional services to local businesses.  Cheltenham BID was launched in August 2016 and gives local businesses the opportunity to decide how funding should be used within Cheltenham to make a real difference to its prosperity.

In Cheltenham, the BID zone covers the town centre, which includes the High Street, the Promenade, Montpellier and the Brewery Quarter.

Businesses that fall within the BID area benefit not only from having a direct impact in the improvement of Cheltenham town centre but many other opportunities. These include access to a range of professional support services, discounted costs on a range of business overheads and promotional opportunities, to name just a few.

Cheltenham BID is one of the key partners behind this website that made it possible.

To find more visit the Cheltenham BID website. Or get in touch with them or by phone 01242 571123


Cheltenham is fortunate to be home to one of the most active and vibrant chambers of commerce in the region. The Cheltenham Chamber of Commerce is a non-profit organisation, run by a group of dedicated members who volunteer to serve on the executive board. It provides an independent, powerful voice for its members and can help everything from new businesses, to SME’s and large multi-national companies.

It provides a range of services to its members including offers, networking opportunities as well as a platform for businesses to raise issues with government at local and national level.

To find out more visit the Cheltenham Chamber of Commerce website or email  


The FSB (Federation of Small Businesses) is Britain’s biggest business representation group with thousands of members across all sectors throughout Gloucestershire including several hundred in Cheltenham.

Formed in 1974 as a lobbying organisation on behalf of the UK’s small business owners, the self-employed and entrepreneurs, it continues to be the influential national ‘go to’ destination for anyone seeking answers to the age old question ‘what do small businesses think about…’ and locally we work with stakeholders at every level to ensure small businesses remain at the heart of policy. 

FSB members also enjoy an unrivalled amount of benefits to help their businesses run smoothly including free 24 hour a day legal support plus help with HR issues, debt recovery, tax investigation and much more.

For more information on the benefits available contact the FSB’s Cheltenham-based Membership Advisor Mark Whittle and for information on all other FSB activity, including local networking, contact the FSB Development manager for Gloucestershire Sam Holliday

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