Profile of Hesters Way

Hesters Way is a modern development on the western outskirts of Cheltenham which sprang up in response to post war demand for housing. It was originally built as a Wimpey no-fines council area in the 1950s and 1960s, the land to build the estate having been bought up by Compulsory Purchase from farmers and market gardeners in the years after the war.

Hesters Way is today generally understood to describe an area which includes the estates of Fiddlers Green, Springbank, Arle Farm, Springfields, parts of St Marks and parts of Rowanfield. It comprises of the council ward areas of Hesters Way, St Marks and Springbank and a small section of St Peters. The larger area is gradually becoming known as 'Cheltenham West'.

Hesters Way consists of a mix of private housing, built predominantly in the 1960s and 1970s, and local authority housing from the post war build, although much of the latter has been bought through the 'right to buy' initiative.

It was once the largest social housing area in Gloucestershire and the central part of the estate, which features strongly in county and national indices of deprivation, has been the subject of a substantial regeneration scheme of late. One of the main initiatives of this has been to systematically replace former local authority flats with housing association houses although a significant number of 1950s and 1960s blocks of flats still remain.

Over the last few years a large number of new housing developments have been built on the fringes of the estate, most of these exclusively private, although on one or two of the developments there has been some provision for social housing. There is an irony however in that many of the new developments, notably Newland Park on the north side of the area and North Court and South Court on the south side of Hesters Way include a high proportion of flats.

Hesters Way has a range of shops and a library and also provides the base for Gloucestershire College (a college catering for the needs of people aged 14+, providing many apprenticeships and higher education courses, as well as A-level courses) and GCHQ (Government Communications Headquarters).

There is a sizeable 1960s built shopping centre at Coronation Square which has a variety of shops. There is a recycling centre in the car park behind the shops. Hesters Way Library and Cheltenham Borough Homes offices are also situated on the site.

There are two shops in Hesters Way Road: a newsagents, general store and Post Office, and The Neighbourhood Charity Shop. There is a convenience store and a chip shop in Hesters Way Lane and a convenience store in Springbank Road. The St. Marks shopping centre in Tennyson Road is on the fringes of the estate. The Cutting Shop hairdressers is based at Hesters Way Community Resource Centre. A convenience store at the end of Fiddlers Green Lane sells practically everything. There is also a shopping centre with a good variety of shops in Tennyson Road in St Marks including a newsagents, convenience store, a pharmacy and a hairdressers. A former shopping centre at the bottom of Springbank Way awaits redevelopment.

Pubs and restaurants in the area include The Umbrella Inn in Orchard Way - a regular pub, serves food at lunchtimes, Carmellos Café, which is open for all day breakfasts and snacks 7 days a week, Renaissance Restaurant, Gloucestershire College which caters for lunchtime and evening meals and JT's Corner Café in Hesters Way Community Resource Centre which provides healthy snacks Monday to Friday 9am to 4pm.

The following offer sports facilities: YMCA, All Saints Sports Centre, and Gloucestershire College. There are sports fields at King George V playing field and at Springfields Park, which has recently been extensively lanscaped. Several of the town's largest green spaces in Cheltenham are located in Hesters Way, including Hesters Way Park, which opened in 1957. Since then several changes have taken place, including the installation of a new play area in 2005, as well as new seating area for teenagers and young adults. Funding also enabled a public art project to create nine stone sculptures bearing inscriptions along the theme of language. The content ranges from baby talk and text messaging to government codes and extracts from the Bible.

The schools in the area are: Hesters Way Primary, Springbank Primary Academy, St Thomas More Primary, Rowanfield Infants and Rowanfield Junior, and All Saints Academy.

St Aidans and St Silas (C of E), Coronation Square, St Thomas More (RC), Princess Elizabeth Way, Hesters Way Baptist, Ashlands Road, St Barnabas (C of E), Orchard Way, and Bethany Hall, Newton Road make up the churches in the area.

Bus services in the area are made up of: Route A which runs GCHQ, Glos College - Town Centre, Route C Springbank Community Resource Centre, Fiddlers Green - Town Centre (circular), Route G - Cheltenham, Rowanfield, St Marks, Benhall, Glos College (circular), Route 94 GCHQ - Cheltenham - Gloucester.

Our Board of Trustees/Directors are contactable in the first instance through our Company Secretary, Kevin Devaney, by telephone 01242 521319, or email or by letter to our head office at Hesters Way Community Resource Centre, Cassin Drive, Cheltenham, GL51 7SU.

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