Some of the Stroud district's most well-known businesses have joined forced with Stroud District Council to advocate for it as an amazing place to do business, as part of a new initiative to stimulate investment in the area.
An online prospectus, 'Stroud District: The Natural Place', has been launched to showcase the best of the district and create a resource for aspiring business leaders and enterprises that want to establish themselves in the area, as well as existing organisations looking to expand or diversify.
It features case studies about thriving local businesses and insights from Stroud-based 'changemakers', who see the district as integral to their venture.
Notable figures include Ecotricity and Forest Green Rovers owner, Dale Vince, who chose Stroud as the base for Britain's first green energy company over 20 years ago; Pete Barrett of the eco-conscious Gloucestershire Science and Technology Park; and Fiona Shiner from Woodchester Valley Vineyard, which produces award-winning still and sparkling English wine from the limestone slopes of the district's hills.
Another key participant is Greg Pilley, managing director of Stroud Brewery, who has been brewing his organic beers in the district since 2004.
He said: 'Stroud punches way above its weight and is blessed with many resources, yet it is small enough to be able to build a network and a personal community. We have an ambition to be recognised as an organic beer brand across the UK and we and feel our provenance is an important part of our story and integrity of our brand.'
The Natural Place shares key facts and figures about the district's UK-leading green economy, arguing that it is a fantastic choice for green tech firms or climate-conscious businesses; as well as innovation, infrastructure and investment opportunities in the area.
The prospectus provides an insight into the workforce, work-life balance, tourism and fantastic culture and heritage that businesses can expect from the Stroud district, too, with useful information about the area's core sectors: from green and agricultural technologies to advanced manufacturing and the creative industries.
Business people can also use The Natural Place to find investment opportunities, with available premises signposted on the website, as well as discover more about the Stroud district's 'Great Eight' local areas, which each have their own distinct identity.
Stroud District Council leader, Catherine Braun, said: 'Our ambition for economic development is to support a sustainable, thriving and resilient economy for businesses communities and visitors.
'We set ourselves the task of promoting the Stroud district to attract more investment, focusing on environmental technologies, engineering and manufacturing and creative industries. The Natural Place prospectus does just this and we are excited to see who will choose our district as the place for innovation.
'Stroud district has an energy unlike any other place. It’s green and dynamic, climate conscious and motivated, creative and collaborative, rural and urban, and ambitious. We know that and The Natural Place aims to showcase this to the rest of the world.'
Stroud District: The Natural Place is available via strouddistrict.co.uk.