The Courtyard, Cheltenham
The Courtyard is located in the town of Cheltenham which is often regarded as a regional centre, given its economic stability. It is estimated that Cheltenham’s economy is currently worth in the region of £2.5-£3 billion yet is predicted to grow significantly over the next ten years to upwards of £4.5 billion.
It also proudly boasts the accolade of ‘Britain’s most complete Regency town’ which is undoubtedly a large part of its international appeal for residents and visitors alike.
In Q3 2016, Avignon Capital identified an opportunity to acquire The Courtyard, Cheltenham, a retail centre with an opportunity to add value and create a highly desirable hub of boutique retailers and restaurants to include re-branding and marketing the scheme as a destination leisure location.
Built in around 1985, the prestigious site has two levels and is part of the historic and charming Montpellier Quarter, an area originally developed in conjunction with the spas in the 1830s.
Fast forward to 2020
When the pandemic struck, the retail industry, in particular, was severely affected when the government asked people to quarantine themselves which then restricted in-store face-to-face service. Unless you were a retail business that handled daily necessities such as a supermarket, or pharmacy, retailers were severely impacted by the restrictions.
A new restaurant had just been fitted out in February but due to the lockdown had to close after only 6 weeks of trading to help our tenants, we minimised operational costs to the site wherever possible.
Despite other businesses struggling through the lockdown measures and businesses in the town centre closing down, the retailers at The Courtyard were able to weather the storm, come out of it positively and business is now thriving.
The site became a hub for the local community. For example, the new Patisserie attracted a large number of customers each day, eager to get their daily treat when everywhere else was closed. Through our asset management initiatives, we licensed additional external space for the restaurants to enable them to not only continue trading when outdoor dining was permitted but to also maximise prime locations at The Courtyard and attract footfall to the site. This meant that despite going into the Covid lockdown with four vacant units we came out with the site fully occupied.
Our active asset management approach and ability to adapt during the pandemic enabled businesses to remain extremely resilient, adapt their models of operating which then ensures sustainable capital and income growth is achieved from the site for our client and tenants alike.
Further information about the site is available on the Montpellier Courtyard website