Cheltenham is a historic spa town in Gloucestershire, England. The city boasts a good range of nightlife, shops and restaurants, as well as easy access to the Cotswolds – a designated ‘Area of Outstanding Natural Beauty’. The town is 100 miles from the capital London, and well connected by rail and road to the rest of the country. During the summer, Cheltenham hosts a series of festivals, ranging from jazz to science, in a format that is unique in the United Kingdom. More than 2,500 people are invited to perform, present, or educate audiences at these festivals. Cheltenham is recognized as the home of British steeplechase (horse racing) and is still home to a busy and popular racing venue. With so much to offer, living in Cheltenham as an expat will hardly be boring.
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The UK Office for National Statistics estimates that in 2010, the population of Cheltenham reached 115,300 people, placing it about half-way down the list of most populous English districts. The city nevertheless has a relatively high population density, compared to other English towns, and you can also find a modest number of expatriates living there. However, moving to Cheltenham or any other foreign city can be quite a challenge and you will be glad for any help you can get. InterNations’ Expat Magazine can provide you with information about living and working abroad, including useful advice on insurance, finances and such things as intercultural communication. Furthermore, you can find out more about living in the United Kingdom from the country guide pages, and by joining the InterNations online community you can speak to other expatriates living in Cheltenham or around the world.
The charitable organization behind the town’s acclaimed festival series is a significant employer in the area – with full time administrators, and seasonal roles for many performers, musicians, and demonstrators. There is also a significant local tourist industry that expats in Cheltenham can try to find work in, as the city is often used as a base for tourists visiting areas such as the Cotswolds, Stratford-upon-Avon (Shakespeare’s birthplace) and Bath and the annual festival season obviously increases the number of tourists visiting the town itself. Cheltenham is home to the Government Communications Headquarters (GCHQ), an intelligence and security organization, which works to protect British interests against the threat of terrorism, proliferation of nuclear weapons, and general conflict around the world. While secretive by nature, it is a major employer in the area, and a large number of people living and working in Cheltenham have relocated there, from around the world, to work at the GCHQ. There is a growing number of technology companies based in and around Cheltenham, from GE-Aviation and Spriax-Sarco Engineering, to Vertex Data Science. A number of finance companies also have bases in the town, including Endsleigh Insurance, Chelsea Building Society, and Zurich Financial Services.