The Hesters Way Partnership was formed in 1997 to help regenerate the Hesters Way area in west Cheltenham. The underlying relative deprivation of the area had been identified by Cheltenham Borough Council and partners and after research by PIEDA the regeneration of the area moved into full swing. HWP now aims to “facilitate community led sustainable change”.

Aerial view of Hesters Way circa 1999

Hesters Way Partnership  Area Map

Role of the Partnership

  • Co-ordinate regeneration activities
  • Facilitate communication between service providers and local residents
  • Identify the needs, skills and assets of the local community
  • Act as a lead organisation in stimulating activity to address those needs
  • Support capacity building in local organisations
  • Aid regeneration of the area
  • Facilitate the exchange of good practice

In this way, the Partnership acts as a vehicle to a sustainable community.

Who are the managers?

The HWP is set up as a not-for-profit Limited Company managed by a board of directors from key local stakeholders. We employ a Partnership Manager to develop and direct the operation of the organisation both strategically and on a day to day basis; a Company Secretary to administer the business of the partnership. We therefore supply 250 hrs paid and 40 hours voluntary employment per month.

How do we operate?

The Board directs the work of the Partnership through its 6 annual meetings and is supported by the Personnel and Finance committee. This committee scrutinises the finer operational details and makes recommendations back to the Board. All decisions must be ratified by the Board by a majority vote in a quorate meeting. Staff are instructed to carry out the tasks as directed by these two groups. See meetings for more details.


1997 – 2002

After several unsuccessful bids finance was raised to build one of the key pillars for renewal identified by the PIEDA report. The community resource centre at Hesters Way was completed in 2002 and offered a variety of new services and potential office spaces which would act as a hub for the forthcoming regeneration.


The period following construction saw the growth in services including a nursery, healthy living centre and variety of support services from the Gloucestershire County Council and Surestart. The Hesters Way Neighbourhood Project grew too with support from European Social Fund sourced through the Gloucestershire Neighbourhood Projects Network. This period saw a host of support services including the development of the Neighbourhood College.

2007- 2012

The seeds had been sewn for the construction of a new resource centre catering to the needs of the Springbank area and the new centre was completed in 2007. However, economic down turn and the end of European social fund support led to major funding shortages for key partners. Services were lost or cut back locally and the pressure to make ends meet was more pressing than ever.

The centres enjoyed further investments over the period with additions including solar panels at HWCRC along with an extension at the nursery. Improvements to the heating system were incorporated by Cheltenham Borough Homes as was a redevelopment of one of the external units to form the cash hall facility. A wind turbine was also installed in Springfield Park to provide renewable energy to the SCRC.

All Saints Academy 2012

2012 – 2021

The community centres have been crucial to the provision of albeit lower but nonetheless critical levels of support for the local community. With funding opportunities continuing to dwindle the effective use of these centres has become more critical than ever before.

In 2018 the HWP invested in LED lighting for the Hesters Way Community in its drive to address climate change. Further investment in a large PV system is planned for 2021.

History of Hesters Way

For a full history of the area see Chris Green’s website; historyofhestersway.co.uk/


Join a themed group?  We hold themed multi-agency meetings in Hesters Way, to address specific issues for example children and young people and community safety.

Network in a hurry ! We can help you network, meet local agencies and find out about what’s going on.

Find funding?  We help source funding and make applications for local organisations

Help with consultation We have supported various parks, health and educational consultations, call us for information and support

Provide statistical information We can support your funding bids by providing stats for your bids, or help you find them

Find a Partner! We hold a huge list of local agencies in Hesters Way, feel free to ask us for local contacts.

Help with an event? We can help you set up an event, find a venue, get local stallholders and support your advertising needs.

Set up a social group? We can help find like-minded people to join your local group and help you make it a success.

Address a local issue? We can help you to solve local issues by campaigning support and through our town wide contacts

Identify and access training?  We can help you find training opportunities that suit your needs and your pocket

CONTACT here for information


Ryan Barkle is Chair of the Hesters Way Partnership and is employed by Bromford Housing Association. He has 15 years’ experience in social Housing and has worked locally for Cheltenham Borough Homes, Gloucestershire Housing Association and Severn Vale Housing and Guinness Trust. Ryan has a BA (Hons) in Business Management and a HNC in Social Housing and has worked with the Hesters Way Partnership since 2007. He became a director in 2009 and chairs the partnership meetings.

Mark Saunders (Treasurer) a local solicitor specialising in family law many of whose clients are based locally was also appointed a Director in November 2012. His experience and know how will greatly enhance the skills of the group.

Pat Thornton (Vice Chair) previously served as a local Councillor for over 20 years. She formerly represented the Council on the Partnership and is a past mayor of the town. Pat is also a Trustee of Pate House (local alms houses), a governor of Gardeners Lane School and on the board of various other charities.

Charlie Jackson is a senior officer at Bromford Housing Association and is responsible for its housing stock in Cheltenham. Charlie became a director in November 2016 and has already shown her commitment to the area by joining the Hesters Way Neighbourhood Forum.

Dermot McNiffe joined the Partnership in 2018 and is Head Teacher at All Saints Academy. The mixed 11-18 Faith Academy has  960 pupils on roll including a new 6th form and is sponsored by the local Catholic and Anglican diocese serving Hesters Way and surrounding areas.

Rachel Thorpe is Deputy Head of Pate’s Grammar School. She is also Head of the Odyssey Teaching School Alliance – a role that sees her work closely with colleagues from a number of primary schools in Hesters Way, Springbank and Rowanfield.

Sharron Walker our latest appointee and Pioneer Minister representing the West Cheltenham Churches, Sharon has a keen interest in community cohesion and working with local organisations for the benefit of the whole community.

GCHQ Director – Appointed 2017

Andy Hayes – Company Secretary