Let’s Rock the Cotswolds!

Rock the Cotswolds

Rock the Cotswolds - Credit: Archant

The Cotswolds isn’t just a chocolate box heaven. There are seriously cool things going on here and next January we’re going to start revealing them

Oli Christie

Oli Christie - Credit: Archant

In 2014, we’re launching a brand new campaign called Rock the Cotswolds, along with one of the region’s coolest businesses and a major business support organisation. We want to introduce you to a cool, cosmopolitan Cotswolds that has existed for years, but those in the know are now ready to reveal.

Why are we doing this? Since we launched our enlarged Cotswold Life business section two years ago, practically every business leader we’ve met, from multi nationals to small owner/managed businesses, have complained that there are not enough talented professionals locating themselves here and it could hold our local economies back.

Well we know, and you probably do if you live here, that the Cotswolds is simply the best place to live and work in the UK, with some of the most creative and brilliant people choosing to locate here already, but we’re hungry for more. It’s no use keeping the secret to ourselves, there is plenty of room for everyone and we need more talent to drive our businesses and provide good jobs and careers for the next generation of professionals.

So when our business editor, Nicky Godding, got chatting with Oli Christie from the award-winning Cirencester-based app developer Neon Play earlier this year, it was no surprise to discover that he was having the same problems in attracting skilled talent to help him build his three-year old (and already hugely successful Queen’s Award winning) business. Luckily Oli is one of those business people not only prepared to pontificate but also put his money where his mouth is and help us do something about it. Then Oli and Nicky started talking to Diane Savory and David Owen at local enterprise partnership, GFirst, and they jumped on board too, ready to rock the boat and help us reveal a new face of the Cotswolds which we hope will encourage new talent to set up their home and business lives here.

We can’t do it alone. You have the opportunity to join us in shaking things up and Rock the Cotswolds by nominating the companies you think make the Cotswolds cool.

Here are the criteria for the businesses that we think Rock the Cotswolds:

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• The business is based in the Cotswolds. (There are many definitions of where the Cotswolds begins and ends but we think of it as Gloucestershire, Oxfordshire and adjacent areas of Warwickshire and Herefordshire).

• It makes, promotes or delivers a product or service that is uniquely different.

• It wants and needs to actively encourage top talent into the Cotswolds.

• This business or organisation is somewhere you really, really, really want to be.


You can nominate any business you want – from a funky new bar or restaurant in downtown Cheltenham or Oxford, a cool hotel/spa in the glorious Cotswold hills to a company which invents, designs, manufactures or promotes something that inspires, excites or simply makes a real difference to our daily lives.

Now we’re not just looking for the obvious here, though we’ll celebrate that too. We want this campaign to uncover new and truly unique, cool Cotswold businesses. The business could even be an annual event or celebration.

We want you to nominate businesses, ventures, venues and organisations that excite you and enrich your life either through what they make or offer, or because you just love working there and know for certain that they are making a difference.

From its ancient hills, historic towns and cities to the honey-coloured villages, the Cotswolds offer some of the most beautiful scenery around, they are also the location for some of the country’s most exciting annual sporting and cultural fixtures, international centres of educational excellence and quirky annual local events, all of which contribute millions of pounds to our local economy and attract hundreds of thousands of tourists every year, and we want that to continue.

Fashion labels that rock the world, famous musicians, models, actors, business leaders, entrepreneurs, media and political personalities and companies creating, designing and selling into some of the hottest global industries already call the Cotswolds home, from cutting-edge scientific innovation to international fashion brands, and every one of them needs people with the talent and skills to power their ideas forward.

So let’s offer hundreds of reasons for them to live here. Help us Rock the Cotswolds by nominating today on

www.rockthecotswolds.com, and we’ll reveal the results during a big launch party to be held at an incredibly cool Cotswolds venue early next year.


Twitter: @rockthecotswold