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Ian Mean: Stroud is a great place to live but there has been a lack of encouragement for business to invest in the area

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By Ian Mean

Business West Gloucestershire director and vice-chair GFirstLEP

Stroud and the places around it are great places to live.

But I am afraid that, hitherto in my view, there has been a lack of encouragement for business to invest in the area.

I hope that is now going to change with a new council venture to help stimulate more investment in Stroud district.

Stroud District: The Natural Place was appropriately launched at Stroud Brewery founded and run by the irrepressible Greg Pilley, truly a man of Stroud in every way-an eco supporter committed to supporting the community.

Dale Vince 1 | Ian Mean: Stroud is a great place to live but there has been a lack of encouragement for business to invest in the area
Dale Vince. Picture: Matt Bigwood.

Stroud is not alone in being backward in coming forward to encourage business investment.

I have to say I have been a critical friend of Stroud when it comes to business. I believed their Levelling Up bid was inadequate and it failed to get government approval.

But I do think the penny has now dropped with the council’s new online prospectus at www.strouddistrict.co.uk

It does a good job of showing the district’s green economy, its innovation , ecology commitments and work-life balance.

I like the way the Natural Place is highlighting the area’s changemakers-people like Greg Pilley and Dale Vince of Ecotricity.

DSC08939 | Ian Mean: Stroud is a great place to live but there has been a lack of encouragement for business to invest in the area
Greg Pilley. Picture: Hannah Bigwood.

Not forgetting, of course, Mark Dransfield of Dransfield Properties who has ploughed nearly £30 million into developing the Five Valleys shopping centre.

But an attractive website is not the be all and end all when it comes to attracting inward investment.

DSC03825 | Ian Mean: Stroud is a great place to live but there has been a lack of encouragement for business to invest in the area
Mark Dransfield addresses guests at the opening of Terra. Picture: Matt Bigwood.

Stroud District Council now needs to prove its business credentials to companies with an active development programme so investors really understand the opportunities available-especially sites available for development.

Every journey must start with a single step, says the proverb. 

The Natural Place is Stroud District  Council’s first step and it should be welcomed by businesses who are looking to invest.

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