Town Team helps keep The Edinburgh Woollen Mill on Banbury’s High Street

The Edinburgh Woollen Mill store is extending its stay in Banbury High Street, thanks to a new deal with its landlords brokered by Banbury’s Town Team.

The high profile national ladies and menswear retailer had announced it was planning to vacate the store at 10 High Street at the end of March. Signs going up in the shop window alerted Banbury’s Town Team co-ordinators, Neil Wild and Iain Nicholson, who were keen to see if the store could be kept open.

Neil worked with the landlords Omaha Guernsey LP and The Edinburgh Woollen Mill property team on a revised agreement which worked for both parties to ensure the retailer stayed open.

Neil Wild says: “Banbury’s High Street is a very important part of the town centre’s vitality. It has a good mix of national names and independents and we’re very keen to keep it that way. Learning early in the process that The Edinburgh Woollen Mill were planning to go was very helpful because it gave us the chance to tell them the town is keen to keep them and to see if a new deal could be struck that worked for them and for their landlord. We’re very pleased to have been able to play a part in getting that deal done.”

Cherwell District Council appointed the two town team co-ordinators in April 2014 to drive a project, which is focusing on boosting footfall, working with landlords and agents to reduce the number of empty town centre shops, and exploring opportunities to bring the pop up and community shop concepts to Banbury. Neil Wild and Iain Nicholson were appointed on a 12-month, part time contract, to lead the project and work with existing town centre partners including the Old Town Association, the Chamber of Commerce, Castle Quay, the Town Council, the markets operator, existing businesses and other town centre stakeholders. Their brief also includes identifying any gaps in the town’s retail and leisure offer, promoting Banbury to would-be new town centre businesses, and helping to develop initiatives that reduce the “leakage” of spending power that Banbury experiences by people in the town and village hinterland shopping elsewhere.

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