These photos show how Cirencester’s Woolmarket has changed over the last 25 years.
P.H. Gillingham Group Ltd acquired the shopping centre in November 1996, meaning they recently celebrated their silver anniversary.
Here their CEO Peter Noest reflects on the changes that have occurred during this time.
“We commissioned Jill Tweed to model the Ram, which is still the only statue in the town and was kindly unveiled by Joanna Trollope in 1997.
“We reconfigured the layout and pavings of the walkways enabling a clear view from Dyer Street to The Waterloo.
“We designed and built the structure which is now Cafe Mosaic. We significantly enlarged the fenestration of Crocodile (shop three) and shop nine.
“We’ve arranged 35 hanging baskets,15 box planters and 10 tubs all of which combine to add to the overall floral attractiveness for our shoppers and visitors alike.
“We’ve also added CCTV, improved lighting and the security that comes from being gated from 11.30pm-7.30am.
“In addition to these structural changes, we have upgraded all 22 units so that they comply with the ever changing legislation in respect of Energy Performance Certificates, health and safety strictures, Electrical Fixed Wire (EICR) testing and fire regulations, as well as new flooring, improved loos and kitchen/ kitchenettes in every unit.
“In this challenging business world we have evolved a broader tenant mix and our mantra since 2015 has been to find tenants who provide services and products which are unique or which you cannot get on Amazon.
“Hairdressers, hospitality, osteopaths, aesthetics, dog groomers, gyms, design studios, estate agency, kitchen showroom, vaping products, staff recruitment, and a charity shop.
“Crocodile Toyshop is our longest standing tenant and now only stocks ethical toys and Chickadee is the only children’s clothing shop in the town.
“As an additional flexibility we now have consent for five changes of use on the upper parts, giving us the flexibility to convert offices, gyms and studios to residential should that prove financially beneficial over time.
“As well as our commitments to the Woolmarket, we have been involved with Action Cirencester and campaigned effectively for the reconfigured Market Place, and for additional Town Centre car parking.”