Gloucester's Heritage Urban Regeneration-Company

PUBLISHED: 11:45 23 December 2010 | UPDATED: 08:57 21 February 2013

Graham Walker

Graham Walker

Gloucester's Heritage Urban Regeneration Company is the only organisation of its kind in the country with the word 'heritage' in the title - and it's easy to see why.

Graham Walker, the man who successfully raised 50million to fund Cardiff's Millennium Stadium, is now turning his talents to Gloucester's fortunes.


Graham is the recently appointed chief executive of Marketing Gloucester Ltd, the company formed to sell the city as a retail, leisure and business centre for the South West paving the way for the multi-million pound regeneration of the city over the next ten years or so.


One of his major challenges, he says, is injecting his own boundless enthusiasm for Gloucester into the movers and shakers of a community he reckons suffers, to some extent, from a lack of self esteem.



"I have observed that Gloucester is a city with a very low level of expectation of itself and the view is that it will never be as pretty as Cheltenham but I don't believe that for one minute.



"You just have to look at the historical legacy Gloucester has and the number of listed buildings like Blackfriars and Llanthony Priories All these things have been under exploited through the years. There's nothing like that in Cheltenham far less the wonderful docks and magnificent cathedral.



"There are also such other historical sites as the 10th Century St Oswald's Priory founded by Alfred the Great's daughter Aethefleada, Beatrix Potter's shop and the covered Roman remains in Eastgate Street.



"The city's historical connections include the coronation of Henry III, William the Conqueror commissioning the Domesday Book here, Edward II's tomb and even, it is alleged, Humpty Dumpty.



"Other famous Gloucester characters include William Stafford Smith who composed the American national anthem, Sir Hubert Parry who composed 'Jerusalem', Charles Wheatstone who invented the telegraph and two men who in real life were the inspiration for Scrooge and Long John Silver.



"Just consider that the Gloucester Heritage Urban Regeneration Company (GHURC) is the only organisation of its kind in the country with the word 'heritage' in the title. There are plenty of urban regeneration companies but Gloucester is the only one with 'heritage'.



"We had the same problem in Cardiff with the Millennium Stadium. At first no one wanted to know but as the project gathered pace confidence grew along with it and of course in the end it was a tremendous success.



"I feel sure that is what is going to happen with Gloucester. I know that there is a lot of doom and gloom surrounding the economy at the moment but I am very upbeat about Gloucester's future.



"I know the confidence will come. You only have to go down to the Shed at Kingsholm to see how much passion there is in Gloucester for Gloucester. I want to harness that passion and that energy into building the city's future.



"The planned redevelopment of the city is going to happen and it is going to create jobs and bring money into the economy by attracting visitors.


.


"The Gloucester Quays development has already 200 million committed and will make a dramatic impact on the outskirts of the city bringing between three and six million visitors



"550 million has been committed to date for housing infrastructure, a new bridge, the docks development, the 34 million college and the new South West By-pass in spite of the credit crunch. That is real investment and it is still being delivered.



"And that's only part of the picture and the GHURC is now looking at the next stages of Blackfriars and Greyfriars redevelopment.



"It has been estimated that that about 76% of visitors to the city come to see the Cathedral and don't hang about and don't spend much money.



"Visitors to the Quays will be different. They will be much younger with a higher disposable income and will do lots of other things and that represents a real opportunity - but it's all about confidence.



"One of the big problems is that there are lots of good things going on and lots of good people in place but it's not co-ordinated which is where we come in."



"We will be drawing up a business plan and a three year marketing strategy. We will also be looking to work with bodies like the city council which has a terrific track record staging events like the summer festival, the tall ships festival, the pirates event, Gloucester through the ages and so on.



"I also want to work with local businesses to find out exactly what they want to achieve and how we can help them and how we can all work together in partnership to reach our collective goal which is a professional and dynamic city where the residents can be proud of their heritage and the city today.



"We are not just looking at the marketing but also working with various parties to improve the toilet facilities, parking, street cleaning, lighting and tackling crime.



"After all it's no good attracting visitors and for them to go away with a negative impression - we want them to come back.



"All these things need to be addressed quickly and they are at the top of our agenda.



"As we are a limited company in our own right, it is important that we 'sell' the city and ensure we get the right level of commitment from sponsors.



"Businesses need to address their corporate social responsibilities and they should try to get deeply entrenched in their local community - what better way than by supporting Marketing Gloucester Ltd, which will benefit the entire community."



The members of the shadow board of Marketing Gloucester Ltd include: chairman Mark Owen, MD of Moose Partnership, marketing, PR and advertising agency, vice chairman Paul James, leader of Gloucester City Council, Pete Grzonka, (Gloucester Rugby Club), Anne-Marie Delrosa (First Great Western), Franco Muccini (Gloucester Quays), Paul Drake (University of Gloucestershire), Chris Oldershaw (Gloucester Heritage Urban Regeneration Company) and Neil Draper (The Mall, Gloucester).


Graham Walker, the man who successfully raised 50million to fund Cardiff's Millennium Stadium, is now turning his talents to Gloucester's fortunes.


Graham is the recently appointed chief executive of Marketing Gloucester Ltd, the company formed to sell the city as a retail, leisure and business centre for the South West paving the way for the multi-million pound regeneration of the city over the next ten years or so.


One of his major challenges, he says, is injecting his own boundless enthusiasm for Gloucester into the movers and shakers of a community he reckons suffers, to some extent, from a lack of self esteem.



"I have observed that Gloucester is a city with a very low level of expectation of itself and the view is that it will never be as pretty as Cheltenham but I don't believe that for one minute.



"You just have to look at the historical legacy Gloucester has and the number of listed buildings like Blackfriars and Llanthony Priories All these things have been under exploited through the years. There's nothing like that in Cheltenham far less the wonderful docks and magnificent cathedral.



"There are also such other historical sites as the 10th Century St Oswald's Priory founded by Alfred the Great's daughter Aethefleada, Beatrix Potter's shop and the covered Roman remains in Eastgate Street.



"The city's historical connections include the coronation of Henry III, William the Conqueror commissioning the Domesday Book here, Edward II's tomb and even, it is alleged, Humpty Dumpty.



"Other famous Gloucester characters include William Stafford Smith who composed the American national anthem, Sir Hubert Parry who composed 'Jerusalem', Charles Wheatstone who invented the telegraph and two men who in real life were the inspiration for Scrooge and Long John Silver.



"Just consider that the Gloucester Heritage Urban Regeneration Company (GHURC) is the only organisation of its kind in the country with the word 'heritage' in the title. There are plenty of urban regeneration companies but Gloucester is the only one with 'heritage'.



"We had the same problem in Cardiff with the Millennium Stadium. At first no one wanted to know but as the project gathered pace confidence grew along with it and of course in the end it was a tremendous success.



"I feel sure that is what is going to happen with Gloucester. I know that there is a lot of doom and gloom surrounding the economy at the moment but I am very upbeat about Gloucester's future.



"I know the confidence will come. You only have to go down to the Shed at Kingsholm to see how much passion there is in Gloucester for Gloucester. I want to harness that passion and that energy into building the city's future.



"The planned redevelopment of the city is going to happen and it is going to create jobs and bring money into the economy by attracting visitors.


.


"The Gloucester Quays development has already 200 million committed and will make a dramatic impact on the outskirts of the city bringing between three and six million visitors



"550 million has been committed to date for housing infrastructure, a new bridge, the docks development, the 34 million college and the new South West By-pass in spite of the credit crunch. That is real investment and it is still being delivered.



"And that's only part of the picture and the GHURC is now looking at the next stages of Blackfriars and Greyfriars redevelopment.



"It has been estimated that that about 76% of visitors to the city come to see the Cathedral and don't hang about and don't spend much money.



"Visitors to the Quays will be different. They will be much younger with a higher disposable income and will do lots of other things and that represents a real opportunity - but it's all about confidence.



"One of the big problems is that there are lots of good things going on and lots of good people in place but it's not co-ordinated which is where we come in."



"We will be drawing up a business plan and a three year marketing strategy. We will also be looking to work with bodies like the city council which has a terrific track record staging events like the summer festival, the tall ships festival, the pirates event, Gloucester through the ages and so on.



"I also want to work with local businesses to find out exactly what they want to achieve and how we can help them and how we can all work together in partnership to reach our collective goal which is a professional and dynamic city where the residents can be proud of their heritage and the city today.



"We are not just looking at the marketing but also working with various parties to improve the toilet facilities, parking, street cleaning, lighting and tackling crime.



"After all it's no good attracting visitors and for them to go away with a negative impression - we want them to come back.



"All these things need to be addressed quickly and they are at the top of our agenda.



"As we are a limited company in our own right, it is important that we 'sell' the city and ensure we get the right level of commitment from sponsors.



"Businesses need to address their corporate social responsibilities and they should try to get deeply entrenched in their local community - what better way than by supporting Marketing Gloucester Ltd, which will benefit the entire community."



The members of the shadow board of Marketing Gloucester Ltd include: chairman Mark Owen, MD of Moose Partnership, marketing, PR and advertising agency, vice chairman Paul James, leader of Gloucester City Council, Pete Grzonka, (Gloucester Rugby Club), Anne-Marie Delrosa (First Great Western), Franco Muccini (Gloucester Quays), Paul Drake (University of Gloucestershire), Chris Oldershaw (Gloucester Heritage Urban Regeneration Company) and Neil Draper (The Mall, Gloucester).

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