TRADERS in Stroud have welcomed the news that a flurry of new businesses will open in the town centre this year.
Nine new businesses have either opened or are due to open soon in the centre of Stroud.
They include a fried chicken outlet, a hairdressers and a restaurant.
In addition, the Warehouse nightclub in London Road which closed in 2021 is to reopen soon with a new name.
Called Trio, it will be a nightclub, jazz bar and live music venue.
A new hair salon, Carolina Lera, opened in Gloucester Street at the end of last year and YMR Chiropractic in London Road also opened recently.
Fat Toni’s pizzeria has recently submitted an alcohol licence to Stroud District Council for its new restaurant which is due to open next week in Merrywalks next to its existing store while T and K fried chicken is set to open nearby at the former bus station kiosk next to Vue Cinema soon.
In the Five Valleys Shopping Centre, a new tanning studio and vape shop are to launch soon.
Preserved – a second hand shop which focuses on Danish products – recently replaced the former Sound Records unit in High Street while in George Street, Weven, a not-for-profit shop specialising in arts and crafts, opened just before Christmas.
The chair of Stroud Chamber of Trade, Tony Davey, welcomed the news.
“Despite the economic challenges facing our country at present, it is encouraging that businesses continue to invest in our local towns, to serve our local communities,” he said.
“We are very fortunate that Stroud is a sought-after location to open new and diverse businesses.
“It’s great news that we have businesses opening here that will be welcomed by our communities.
“The high street continues to evolve and provide a diverse range of goods and services, supporting the local communities and making our towns a better place to live, work and visit.”
MP Siobhan Baillie urged residents to support the new ventures.
“My focus remains on small businesses in Stroud during these challenging times,” she said.
“I will be meeting with the chancellor ahead of the spring statement to make the case that support is required.
“However, our town bucked the trend in the pandemic with businesses opening and this is continuing with this latest good news.
“The nightclub has been closed for some time so a reopening should be a boost to the nighttime economy and sectors like taxi drivers, restaurants, and late-night eateries.
“As I’ve said before, I urge local people to go out and support these new venues and our existing ones.
“We need a flourishing local retail and hospitality economy and the jobs and investment they bring.”
Mayor Stella Parkes said having a ‘vibrant town centre is critical.’
“A vibrant town centre where people can visit, shop and work is critical for a thriving and sustainable community,” said Cllr Parkes.
“On behalf of the town council we welcome these new businesses and wish them the very best of luck.”
These new businesses follow the news that towards the end of last year Starbucks and the new £6.5 million Five Valleys Medical Centre opened.
Managing director of Dransfield Properties, Mark Dransfield said: “The Five Valleys is fast becoming a central meeting point within the town rather than a place to pass through.
“We have a thriving market here boasting a great selection of artisan traders and a strong eating out offer making it a popular choice for families, couples, friends and all other parts of the community to come together.
“Our need for products and services is ever changing but the drive to interact with people and experience social landscapes is consistent, if not more important to people than ever.”
Almost 300 people work at the shopping centre with a further 50 members of staff now based at the medical practice.
This number is set to climb as more office units open up and the town’s library relocates here in the spring.