Stroud's quirky high street 'buzzing' and busier than ever as lockdown restrictions ease

Watch Ken Goodwin's report

Stores along Stroud's High Street have enjoyed a welcomed boost on the first week after lockdown was partially eased.

Non-essential retail and outdoor hospitality venues opened on Monday 12 April, and shop owners have profited from increased footfall.

The Five Valleys Centre re-opened this week with two new additions, a department store and a coffee bar.

Dionne Moore is the centre manager spoke to ITV West Country about the joy of seeing retail spaces active again.

Dionne Moore, Five Valleys centre manager

She said: "Business has been absolutely fantastic since the lockdown has been lifted.

"The buzz around the town and around the centre is priceless.

"Everyone genuinely seems so happy to be back out, and interacting with one another. I’m a very happy centre manager."

Department stores have had a rough time during the lockdowns but in Stroud a new store called Sandersons opened this week.

Joanne Ireland, the store manager, said: "It's absolutely amazing to be welco

Juliette Farrington, owner of Moonflower, believes that Stroud's local community is loyal to its high street Credit: ITV West Country

ming customers for the first time.

"Real people in a real environment enjoying the shopping experience."

Traders in some of its eclectic independent stores, like the Fortune Faerie, which sells model pixies, toadstools, crystals and other related goods, say business is good.

Karen van Kalmthout, a shop owner, said: "(It is) absolutely fabulous to mix will people again and to see my friends and regular customers come back and say but they’re glad they're so happy that I'm still open."

Stroud has recently been named as the best place to live in the UK and was praised for its 'unique independent spirit'.

People returning to the high street are helping shops to cushion the financial blow of having to be closed during lockdown.

Juliette Farrington, owner of the independent clothing store Moonflower, said this week has shown Stroud's local community is a loyal one.

She said: "It's been great and Stroud's always been very supportive a

Samuel Humphris has opened a coffee shop, Rough Hands Coffee, and has welcomed customers to his new store this week Credit: ITV West Country

nyway but we've had a really good week so far."

Samuel Humphris has taken the plunge and just opened coffee shop Rough Hands Coffee.

He said: "I think it's not any more brave than at any other time and I'm used to working so much, but from the pandemic I have only worked part-time.

"And then because I had more time, you've got more time to think about the things you actually want to do."

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