Record number of new businesses flock to Cirencester
BUSINESS is booming in Cirencester with a record number of companies having been launched in the past six months according to the latest figures.
With much of the rest of the UK struggling to climb out of the recession, there have been 131 new companies launched in Cirencester in the first half of this year, a figure 5.6 per cent higher than any other year.
Cirencester Chamber of Commerce president Anthony Flynn said the news was evidence that Cirencester continued to be a place where business thrived.
“What fantastic news,” he added. “Gloucestershire already has one of the highest success rates of businesses continuing past the tricky three-year mark, so these new companies look to have a happy future.
“The diversity of Cirencester businesses and the entrepreneurial people behind them are a real asset to our town and should be celebrated.”
“These figures highlight that the town is a great place to do business. We’re lucky that we haven’t been too badly hit by recession and as a town we’re resilient,” said town mayor Joe Harris.
Only a month ago local entrepreneur Oli Christie, founder of Neon Play, launched a new initiative to change people’s views of the ‘sleepy’ Cotswolds.
He launched Rock the Cotswolds to challenge the common perception of the Cotswolds being “full of pretty villages, Japanese tourists, Roman villas and tweedy types at Cheltenham Racecourse” and has set out to prove that the Cotswolds has hotels and restaurants better than London, fashion labels reaching out across the world and globally-known celebrities who call the Cotswolds home.
As capital of the Cotswolds, Cirencester is directly at the heart of the initiative.
“As those of us who work in Cirencester already know, it’s a brilliant town to start a business and with so much cool stuff happening in the Cotswolds, it’s clear that the future for local businesses and start-ups is looking very rosy,” said Mr Christie.
Other companies set to move to Cirencester include Odeon, KFC, Prezzo and Cafe Rouge while Morrisons has recently launched a branch.
ONE new business pushed aside the prospect of competition and fought hard to make a name in Cirencester.
Independent coffee retailer Cotswold Artisan opened in August this year with no concerns for the recession or the fact that Cirencester was already awash with coffee shops.
Owner Mandy Cook said she heard people say “not another coffee shop” as they walked past the store, based in Bishops Walk.
“I even said we should have that as our slogan out the front,” she joked.
Now open for over two months, owners Mandy and husband Barry are starting to hear promising customer feedback.
“We’re starting to see the same faces in our shop so we must be doing something right,” said Barry.
“Cirencester has a good reputation.
“We were in Swindon before but Cirencester has a different demographic and we thought the town would respond better to a specialist coffee shop.”
Barry and Mandy were confident enough to open a coffee shop despite the strong national and independent competition because they said they are able to stand out.
“We’re different from all the run of the mill High Street coffee shops, whether independent or chain,” added Barry.
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