10 unique growth businesses in Gloucestershire to watch

County organisations aren’t just surviving during the pandemic, but are thriving – with SoGlos showcasing 10 interesting examples of Gloucestershire businesses which are growing at an impressive rate.

With ambitious expansions, incredible turnovers and innovative new products hitting the global market, it is brilliant to see business is really booming for some Gloucestershire businesses.

Demonstrating commercial acumen and creative flair, SoGlos shares 10 Gloucestershire businesses which are showing impressive growth, in spite of the pandemic, handpicked from across a multitude of sectors.


About the sponsor – Vitruvius

Gloucestershire-based construction consultants, Vitruvius, offer specialist project, commercial and construction management services across a wide range of sectors – with professional accreditations from the Royal Institute of Chartered Surveyors, The Chartered Institute of Building, the Association for Project Management and Investors in People Gold.

Vitruvius manages projects from their inception, working collaboratively with clients before contractors or architects are appointed, tailoring each project team to the client’s specifications, to help them achieve their vision.

For more information, visit vitruviusms.co.uk.


1. Hartpury College and Hartpury University

Student numbers on the 360-hectare Hartpury site have been growing year-on-year and now stand at more than 4,000.

Already a centre of sporting excellence, to go alongside its academic credentials and reputation in the world of land management, agriculture and livestock, Hartpury College and Hartpury University has recently invested more than £2 million in new Agri Tech facilities with the backing of GFirst LEP, as it aims to draw businesses to its site to grow even further.


2. Cotteswold Dairy

One of the county’s longest-standing and most successful family businesses, the Tewkesbury-headquartered Cotteswold Dairy employs more than 350 staff and has just announced the takeover of Herefordshire-based Bartonsham Farm Dairy.

It has also won planning permission to add an extra 8,000 square metres to its Tewkesbury site, with an ambitious investment plan that involves the challenging task of staying open, while rebuilding and modernising its already complex operation.


3. Gloucestershire Airport

With support from GFirst LEP, Gloucestershire Airport has recently secured £15 million in investment from owners Cheltenham Borough Council and Gloucester City Council.

It also has exciting plans for the construction of its CGX Connect business park, which is part of a development plan that could create around 1,500 jobs in Gloucestershire.


4. Weird Fish

Founded in 1993 after ‘a bracing and inspiring walk along a coast path in Cornwall’, Tewkesbury-based outdoor clothing brand Weird Fish has seen significant growth in its popularity during the last year.

Through the pandemic, the brand saw a 108 per cent increase in sales overall, as well as a 354 per cent uplift – an incredible achievement in difficult circumstances.


5. Ecotricity

Since it’s conception on a Five Valleys hillside in 1995, green energy business Ecotricity has grown into a major employer for the county, as well as a household name for renewable energy across the UK.

Ecotricity’s most recent accounts show continued growth with its turnover up by 15 per cent to more than £222 million.


6. Bedfolk

Cheltenham-based Bedfolk started in 2018, with a little help from The Growth Hub. The company turns three in May 2021, but its birthday isn’t the only thing it’ll be celebrating – as it saw a record 500 per cent increase in sales during lockdown.

Bedfolk has also employed another 10 full time staff members in the last year, with it predicting more growth still to come.


7. Forge Motorsport

Forge Motorsport is one of Gloucestershire’s unsung business heroes. This high-end motorsport and engineering firm has developed its own parts which are now in demand worldwide.

Sales increased by 25 per cent last year, compared to the same period in 2019, taking its turnover to over £6.5 million – and it took on six more staff too.


8. Paperback Shop

After starting life in a Cotswold cowshed, bookseller Paperback Shop has grown its turnover by 400 per cent during lockdown and beyond.

Its ability to keep supply chains open and meet customer demand will see that turnover exceed £50m in 2021 – and there’s no chance of selling out to retail giants Amazon, as the company is owned by its employees, making this a truly local business.


9. Ruroc

This Gloucester-based manufacturer of helmets for extreme sports is known for its stylish designs, innovative products and celebrity endorsements.

Sales of its Atlas 3.0 helmet amassed to $1 million in just 30 minutes, with its high-profile customers including the likes of Tom Hardy, Kim Kardashian and Gloucester-born actor Simon Pegg.


10. Kalex Films

Established in 2021, Kalex Films is the sister company of Churcham-based Leeways Packaging – with the ever-innovative Forest of Dean family firm investing heavily in its new business and its high-tech Cinderford-based manufacturing facility.

The purpose-built extrusion facility produces products made entirely from rPET recycled plastics and is set to move to 24/7 production soon, in order to meet demand. The company also continues to recruit heavily, with group staff numbers now past 135.


For more information about Vitruvius, visit vitruviusms.co.uk.


By Chloe Gorman


© SoGlos
Thursday 06 May 2021

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