The board of Cheltenham Business Improvement District (BID) has announced the appointment of Heath Gunter as its new chief executive.
Mr Gunter takes up the new role following the powerful business group’s successful renewal ballot in July, which saw town centre businesses vote in support of a second five-year term.
Mr Gunter will be responsible for leading the work of the BID championing the town centre and its businesses, which will see £2.8 million invested in Cheltenham over the next five years.
Alex Rose, chairman of Cheltenham BID, said: ‘I am delighted that Heath has agreed to head up Cheltenham BID. It’s a huge coup for us to have him as our CEO.’
Mr Gunter has worked for Gloucester-based Mike Burton Group; Cheltenham Racecourse; headed up the commercial department at Cheltenham Ladies’ College; and been part of the multimillion-pound redevelopment of the CLC Health and Fitness Centre.
‘I’m looking forward to working with businesses and colleagues – both old and new – over the next five years to really make a difference and build on the tremendous work that the BID has delivered in its first term,’ said Mr Gunter.
Mr Gunter takes over leadership from the late Kevan Blackadder, who died in January.
Mr Blackadder led the BID through its first five years, helping establish events such as Light Up Cheltenham, the Big Wheel and the Around Town programmes that bring Cheltenham’s famous Jazz, Music, Science and Literature Festivals onto the town’s streets and an enhanced Christmas Lights switch on and Christmas market.
The BID’s second term runs through to Tuesday 31 March 2026 and will see delivery focused on four priority areas: business support, marketing and promotion, town centre events and townscape enhancements.
By Andrew Merrell