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We Are Turning 30!

This May marks 30 years since our official opening by Princess Anne in 1985. The Regent Arcade has seen many changes in the last three decades, with another new exciting development underway, so let’s look through some of our favourite moments.

Here, we see a very different looking shopping centre, with the original marble flooring and columns.  On our first floor, where TK Maxx is now located, we had a market, where a younger David Hargreaves established the Regent Goldsmith and Julian Dunkerton creator of the Cult Clothing and Superdry brands started his business with a stall here.


Special thanks to David Ross, who kindly donated this photo at our 25th Anniversary.

Chapman’s Opticians (located opposite Soho Coffee) also moved into the Regent Arcade in the 1980s, making them one of our longest serving tenants together with The Regent Goldsmith.

Our iconic Wishing Fish Clock, made by local Gloucestershire artist Kit Williams has become one of Cheltenham’s most famous tourist attractions. It delights adults and children alike by playing ‘Forever Blowing Bubbles’ every thirty minutes.  Shoppers may also remember our glass lift and domed glass roof which some said created a  ‘cathedral’ effect within the Arcade.

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                                                      Our Wishing Fish Clock in Action!                                                             Christmas Decorations from 2006

A major £20m refurbishment was carried out and completed in 2009 to ensure the Regent Arcade could meet the needs of 21st century retailing and to give our centre a more contemporary look. We took this opportunity to incorporate several energy saving features which included a rain water harvesting system to provide water for toilet flushing and low energy lighting.  The management team also pledged to make the centre more environmentally friendly and we now recycle all of our waste. Nothing is sent to landfill.

As a result we were named the ‘greenest’ shopping centre of our size in the UK and awarded the Green Champion award for energy conservation and re-cycling in the 2013 Green Apple Awards.

We’ve seen our fair share of unusual objects displayed within the centre. As part of our Walk this Way marketing campaign held during the refurbishment we invited local schools to decorate giant shoes which were suspended from our ceiling and later auctioned for the Mayor’s charity. We were also the first shopping centre in Gloucestershire to give away free fabric bags for life.

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Centre Manager John Forward with Sally Gillespie from Winston's Wish

Our smart new Regency inspired frontage was completed in 2013 enabling us to create two new flagship stores within the Regent Arcade. After many years of looking for suitable space within Cheltenham H&M jumped at the chance to take the first unit. River Island, who were previously where Blue Inc. is now, relocated to the other two storey flagship store. A third new store is currently being created at the front of the centre.

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The Newly Opened H&M and River Island Stores as Part of the Frontage Redevelopment in 2013

One of the major highlights of recent years was another royal visit, this time by The Prince of Wales in November 2013. It was a proud moment for us all when he came to see the architecture of the new frontage and meet some of the people working within the Regent Arcade.

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                                               Prince Charles Visiting the Shopping Centre in November 2013 and Meeting Centre Director John Forward

Prince George had been born and his Royal Highness was presented with several gifts from members of the public for his new grandson including a Berkie Bear from children in the Berhamstead School choir. They came in to sing carols around our traditional walk through Christmas tree which has always been the centre piece of our Christmas decorations.

Located at the heart of Cheltenham we take an active role in supporting local charities. There’s been so many memorable charitable events showcased in the Regent Arcade and we’re proud to help worthy cause raise thousands of pounds each year donated by our lovely generous shoppers!

Inevitably we have seen a lot of different retailers trading within the Regent Arcade during the past 30 years but our ethos remains the same. We pride ourselves on maintaining a healthy balance between big name brands and independent stores to ensure customers have a wide range of products to choose from.

In the last year, we have been joined by Bravissimo (with Pepperberry clothing range), the lingerie and fashion retailer for women with larger boobs, Taking Shape, the Australian plus size fashion retailer, Vom Fass, the oil, vinegar and liquor specialist and Bella Couture, an Italian ladies fashion retailer. 

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Some of Our Recent Additions Over the Last Year Including Vom Fass, Taking Shape and Bravissimo

Our food and beverage offer will be enhanced later this month when Carluccios will be opening their doors after the major renovation to the old Mothercare unit on the ground floor.  Please check our website and social media for announcements of the opening date.

To help us celebrate our birthday milestone join us on Saturday May 16 for a fun filled Back to the 80s event. 


Come and see the Back to the Future DeLorean and make the most of exclusive special ‘anniversary’ discounts from our retailers.  There’s also a chance to win a huge bundle of prizes, inspired by the iconic decade, including Ray Ban sunglasses, gift vouchers and many more!  For the children, meet Leonardo and Raphael from the Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles, who will be around at various intervals in the afternoon. 

We would like to thank all of our shoppers and tenants for their continued support over the last 30 years. Here’s to another great 30 years!




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Regent Arcade Shopping Centre,
High Street, Cheltenham,
GL50 1JZ

01242 521 345 | Contact us via email

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