More independent shops are filling Banbury town centre, boosting its reputation as an indie shopping destination whilst reducing the number of empty units.
Cherwell District Council and its town team coordinators are working with landlords and agents to help overcome the barriers to empty units being let.
While the town centre is being promoted as an opportunity for independent businesses, Cherwell’s economic growth team has also provided business support and guided shopkeepers through other council services including planning, environmental health and business rates.
Cllr Lynn Pratt, Cherwell’s lead member for estates and the economy, said: “We have an increasingly vibrant town centre and the opening of these shops in the Old Town is a great addition.
“With more than 60 independent shops available in the town centre, Banbury is bringing a new unmatched offer to the region providing a unique shopping and leisure experience along with a place to socialise with friends and family.”
The new openings in Parsons Street include 4 Shires Antiques alongside fashion stores Union Clothing and Revival. Elsewhere pet shop Weird Creatures has opened in Church Walk whilst an artists’ collective has taken on the Church Lane Gallery, which originally opened as part of the Banbury Town Team’s ‘pop up shop’ initiative.
In addition, the Art Framing Workshop has moved into a unit of its own at 38 Parsons Street after a stay in a shared premise at number 21, demonstrating how shops are able to expand. They will soon be joined in Old Town by a microbrewery in Church Lane and retailer Doodledash Interiors, which is new to the town centre, taking up the former Fashion Fabrics unit in Parsons Street.
To further promote the independent shops and cafes, the council’s funded team is running the social media campaign “Shoptober” during October. Residents and visitors are invited to check the hashtag #Shoptober on Twitter and follow the campaign to learn more about the indie shopping in Banbury.
Cllr Lynn Pratt added: “Local independent shops are an asset to our community and it is important that we support our local economy by purchasing goods from them whenever possible.”
More information about business support services provided by Cherwell’s economic growth team is available at https://www.cherwell.gov.uk/Business .