TWO business partners are expanding their web design business by opening a drop-in shop in the heart of Cirencester.

Annemarie Thurgood, 30, and Michelle Field, 25, have been running Athena Web Designs in Cirencester for around a year and have recently moved to a new shopfront on Cricklade Street, Cirencester.

The two met while working at a web design company in Bristol and decided to take the plunge and strike out on their own.

Annemarie said it had been a brave move to set up a new company while the country languishes in the depths of a recession, but the economic downturn had proved surprisingly beneficial to the business.

“People who are struggling are more likely to want a good website to increase their profile so that’s actually quite good for us,” she said.

She added she hoped the new shopfront would encourage more business. “We always try and encourage our customers to come in and meet with us personally,” she said.

“We like to include them in the design process.”

The company has already secured a number of high-profile clients including Gloucestershire County Council and Fairford Town Council.

For more information call in to see Annmarie and Michelle at their new Cirencester shopfont, visit or call 01285 653 452