Yes, the Cotswold Hills roll gloriously over the British countryside and beautiful honey-coloured sit in picture-postcard villages. Yes, tourists love our Roman history. Yes loads of jolly, tweedy folk enjoy the finest racing at Cheltenham Racecourse. We know that, and that’s great.
But what you might not appreciate is how cool the Cotswolds is. There are companies here creating, designing and selling in some of the hottest global industries. There are hotels and restaurants that would make London blush. There are fashion labels that rock the world. And global superstars who call the Cotswolds home.
Rock the Cotswolds is shaking things up a bit. Challenging conventions. Opening eyes to make everyone realise that the Cotswolds is the best place in the UK to live & work with some of the most creative, clever & brilliant people around.
Back in 2010, Oli Christie founded mobile games development business Neon Play. He lived near Cirencester, so it made sense to have Neon Play’s HQ in the town. There was one problem though - Cirencester has traditionally been a hotbed of red-trousered estate agents (among other great things) and not really a celebrated centre of technical talent.
But Oli believed that if you create a strong culture and have some early success, people would move to the area. And luckily that happened.
However, we do know that Neon Play doesn't get as many CVs as they could from people living in London and other cities because they think the Cotswolds is a bit sleepy and not the sort of place they might want to progress their career.
So this got Oli thinking. We needed to change the perceptions of the Cotswolds as a place full of pretty villages, Japanese tourists, Roman villas and tweedy types at Cheltenham Racecourse.
And Rock the Cotswolds was launched.
Hundreds of people across Gloucestershire and Oxfordshire, inundated us with an incredible selection of companies, people, places to eat, drink and shop.
A small team, totally unscientifically but with great gut instincts, went through every nominee and selected the first 75 to represent the first Rock the Cotswolds hotlist. And from then on we are announcing five new Rockers each month. From every corner of Gloucestershire and West Oxfordshire, we are unearthing a cool and diverse list of things that are rocking the Cotswolds.
And we want everyone to spread the word further afield than just the Cotswolds. This is not an internal backslapping exercise.
We want people in London, Birmingham, Bristol, New York, Shanghai, Moscow and even Timbuktu, to hear about Rock the Cotswolds and visit this site. We want them to realise how much is going on. They can move here, get a fantastic job or even start a company.
So please support us as it will take a groundswell of positive vibes, social networking, word of mouth chit-chat and to keep this going. The team behind Rock the Cotswolds are not paid and all have day jobs. We’re doing this because we’re passionate about the area and its potential over anywhere else in the world.