I was delighted to meet one investor who was prompted to come to Stroud when he saw the town had won the Sunday Times Best place to Live in Britain accolade.
Simon Berg had never been to Stroud before and ended up buying the Imperial Hotel by the station and intends investing hundreds of thousands of pounds into it.
A great example of how place marketing can encourage big investment. Simon, a director of S2 Estates in the heart of Mayfair tells me he bought the decaying building for ‘circa £1 million’ and plans to spend between £500,000-£750,00 in refurbishing it.
Simon, a straight-talking property developer from Newcastle, told me: “We want to own and keep the hotel and we see this is an area on the rise. After all, this is the first main building you see when you come off the train.
“I think the Imperial is a ridiculously good building in a ridiculously good area.”
I agree and if the district council manages to secure government Levelling up money to improve the railway station, will make that entrance to Stroud more welcoming.
And added to that, Malmesbury property developer Tom Pitman is another investor who is investing in Stroud by buying Imperial House next to the hotel and intends to let it off as incubator offices.
That will encourage more companies to set up and more jobs for the area.
Simon Berg tells that he is hopeful a local businessman will be leasing the hotel and the refurbishment could be finished by the summer.
The Imperial, which has now been Grade 2 listed has a great heritage.
By the bar, there is a great picture of the then Princess Elizabeth-before she became Queen – visiting the hotel for lunch in 1950 as the guest of the district council when she visited the Gloucestershire Wildlife Trust at Slimbridge.
Former newspaper editor, Ian Mean is Business West’s Gloucestershire director, a board member of GFirstLEP and former vice-chair of the Gloucester Heritage Urban Regeneration Company.