‘Thriving’ businesses in Cherwell are helping lead the district into an ‘optimistic’ future’.
The chairman of Bicester Chamber of Commerce praised north Oxfordshire firms as the number of companies across the county reached 40,000, with more than 8,500 of them in Cherwell.
Peter Cox said businesses in the area have become more positive over the last couple of years, partly due to the UK’s scheduled departure from the EU.
He said: “There is a little more optimism than there was two years ago. Most people have taken Brexit on the chin and realised there are opportunities.”
Mr Cox hailed development across Cherwell and said the next step is to find more commerce sites.
He said: “The main businesses are thriving very well. Banbury, Bicester, Upper Heyford and Kidlington are expanding and overall we are looking good. We have a large number of businesses moving into Bicester which has a thriving evening scene. Across the district there is a good balance of businesses.”
He added: “Business areas are filling up quite fast and we now need to look at where we need to move.
“We need more land to take up industry, in particular to allow for employing the extra people that are moving into Bicester. This includes expansion on existing sites and from scratch.”
Thirty new shops opened at designer outlet centre Bicester Village in October last year, which attracts millions of visitors annually.
Cherwell District Council recently bought Banbury’s Castle Quay shopping centre from developers to press ahead with multi-million pound plans to extend it.
The number of companies in Oxfordshire overall has passed the 40,000 mark for the first time as the county enjoys a surge in new business.
According to secretarial software firm Inform Direct, there were 40,124 businesses registered in the county at the end of March.
South Oxfordshire leads the way with 9,119 businesses, followed by Cherwell (8,780) and Oxford (8,092).
The positive figures follow a successful year for new firms in the county and a celebration of business in the north of the region will be held at the Cherwell Business Awards next month. Winners will be announced on May 11 at Heythrop Park, Enstone.
Organisers said that the awards, now in its seventh year, has attracted an ‘excellent mix of applications’ from businesses old and new.
There are nine awards up for grabs. Visit tinyurl.com/ydbdy93h for the shortlisted businesses.