Cricket's loss is the Gloucester Road's gain!

Roz Hutchings (Head of Community Engagement, Gloucestershire Cricket and Abi Smith from Cake

Roz Hutchings (Head of Community Engagement, Gloucestershire Cricket and Abi Smith from Cake

The Royal London One-Day International between England and India at the Bristol County Ground on Monday 25 August 2014 may have been a washout, but the dark clouds had a silver lining for local traders.

Shops and pubs on nearby Gloucester Road reported brisk business throughout the day after taking part in a brand new scheme run by Gloucestershire Cricket.

The “East Meets…. The West Country” initiative saw staff at bars, restaurants and shops wearing t-shirts in the colours of the flags of both England and India, painting their faces and serving specially themed food and drink.

Martin Hunt, owner of Joe’s Bakery and Chairman of Gloucester Road Traders said: “From speaking to people it seems that the pubs and cafes had a fantastic day so cricket’s loss was their gain.  The whole initiative just shows how working together can be beneficial and we hope to do similar things at other Gloucestershire Cricket events.”

As well as embracing the spirit of the day a number of traders offered special discounts for supporters attending the match.

Sarah Thorp at Room 212 offered 10% off a range of products for ticket holders and even created an Indian themed window display using paintings, prints and jewellery by Bristol artists.

But the winner of the ‘Most Fun Trader’ award went to Abi Smith from Cake (pictured).  In addition to putting up posters and wearing t-shirts supplied by Gloucestershire Cricket, Abi also offered her famous cupcakes at half price to fans who flashed their tickets.

She said: “It was a lovely surprise to win and I hope we can link in with more events at the ground in the future.  Even though the weather was bad we still had people coming in and it was really busy all the way down Gloucester Road.  Regardless of the game people still stayed around for the afternoon so it was definitely well worth staying open.”

Abi’s connection with the Bristol County Ground extends much further back than the One-Day International.  She was born on Nevil Road and was a regular visitor – even learning to ride her bike on the outfield.

The woman behind the scheme, Gloucestershire Head of Community Engagement Roz Hutchings, said the “East Meets… The West Country” event had demonstrated the benefits of a strong relationship between the Club and local businesses.

She said: “Despite the match being abandoned the reports of how busy traders on Gloucester Road were show the power of working together.  It demonstrated that by linking in with events at the Bristol County Ground, there is a real economic benefit for traders and it is also great for the fans.

“I hope this is just the start of things to come.”

In total around 20 different businesses were involved in supporting the Royal London One-Day International.  All of those have been given up to six free tickets for a Gloucestershire home game in 2015 as a thank you from the Club and to help strengthen their relationship going forward.

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