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Royal Visit For The Regent Arcade

His Royal Highness the Prince of Wales visited Regent Arcade on Monday 25 November 2013 to mark the culmination of the £22m re-development programme of Cheltenham’s premier retail destination. 

On arrival at Regent Arcade, The Prince of Wales was met by John Forward, Centre Director and senior representatives from centre owners Canada Life Investments. The architect responsible for the design of the new Regency inspired façade Robert Chitham from Chapman Taylor briefed HRH on the Bath Stone structure and two new retail units before the group moved on into the Arcade to meet local people involved in the re-development, centre staff and retailers.

Said John Forward, Regent Arcade Centre Director: “It was a very proud day for us. We’ve come a long way since those early days back in 2009 when the refurbishment programme began and now have a stylish, energy efficient contemporary shopping centre that draws shoppers from all over the UK.

“By re-configuring the floor space to create two new large retail units we have been able to bring H & M to Cheltenham giving the town centre a huge boost and help to ensure the future of our High Street.”

During his visit HRH met Richard Ralph, Associate Director of managing agents DTZ and Chris Spenceley, a Porter at the Arcade. The centre was recently named the UK Gold Champion in the retail shopping centres category of the 2013 Green Apple Awards and they briefed HRH on the Arcade’s green achievements to date. These include recycling 92% of all waste, a 17.6% decrease in energy consumption and a 34% reduction in water costs.

The refurbishment programme incorporated measures to conserve energy and including a new triple glazed glass roof, low energy lighting, solar panels, rainwater harvesting system, energy efficient lighting with dalmatic controls, water saving measures in customer washrooms, energy saving lifts and escalators (slow down when not in use) and hand dryers.

A group of independent retailers from the centre were presented to his Royal Highness. Mark Davies owner of the luggage shop Enekes told HRH how he successfully launched an on line side of his business to beat off internet competition, the last remaining original tenant David Hargreaves and his wife Elizabeth, owners of the Regent Goldsmiths reminisced about 28 years of trading in the Regent Arcade, Melody Davies from Melody’s Salon explained her child friendly hairdressing tactics and Rosie Lomberg from By Local told HRH how a group of local Gloucestershire artists got together to sell their work direct to the public in the Arcade.

A choir from Berkhampstead School sang carols around the walk-through Christmas tree which was the focal point of the Arcade’s festive decorations and presented HRH with a Berkie Bear for his grandson Prince George.

And keeping with the present theme, at the end of the Royal visit local artist Amanda Hawkins presented HRH with a string of hand knitted bunting spelling out the name George and a little hat which says “made in England”.

 

 

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