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Bustling street is bucking the trend
WHILE it may be doom and gloom on many high streets across the country, one road in Swindon has put its belt and braces on and is bucking the trend.
Rodbourne Road has seen several new businesses open within a matter of weeks, including a lingerie shop, a beauty salon and a Polish supermarket.
The street, which runs from the Bruce Street Bridges to Faringdon Road, has become a hive of activity, in stark contrast to other areas in the town and across the country as big names such as HMV, Thomas Cook and Republic recently announced store closures.
Many pundits have cited the surge in online retailing and a change in buying habits but one new business, provocativepleasures.co.uk, which has just started trading in Rodbourne Road, has gone the other way.
Triona Sturges, who runs the lingerie shop, said the business started about six months ago online but she decided to open a store after persistent questions from customers.
“We decided to open after lots of our customers were asking if we had a shop,” said the 31-year-old.
“My partner started selling a few bits on eBay and it took off from there, so we set up our own website. Then people began turning up at our office in Basepoint.
“My husband also works in construction so he was working on this row of shops and the owner said there were some vacancies.
“We thought ‘let’s give it a go’. It’s a good location right next to the Outlet Village and hopefully we will get some footfall from that. We only opened on Friday so it’s too early to tell yet.”
Other new stores include the 2wins café, a mortgage lenders and a green energy firm, which occupy the units across the road from Artdeans Motorcycles.
Coun Jim Robbins (Lab, Mannington and Western) said: “I’m obviously very pleased for the area and it’s great we have got some new businesses.
“There’s a good atmosphere down there and the locals support the small businesses. And there is footfall from those visiting the Outlet, Steam and the National Trust so it’s a really good place to be. There is certainly a good mix of new shops and it is definitely bucking the trend. The Labour Group, with Councillor Mark Dempsey, have been doing a lot to encourage local business.”