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Gloucestershire Business News

EXCLUSIVE: Camera shop shutters for relocation plan

A popular camera business that has been a familiar fixture on the high street of a Cotswold town is upping sticks to Cheltenham after two decades of trade.

The news of the exit from Dursley's Parsonage Street comes as a fitness gym in the same street announced its closure, as reported here yesterday.

But Dursley Town Council (DTC) said that amid speculation in the town that the prime location premises of Clifton Cameras may soon be re-occupied by an existing local business, the town remains optimistic for its retail prospects.

In harmony with the sentiments of Stroud and District Chamber of Trade Chair Tony Davey, who has spoken to exclusively on the eve of tomorrow's general election, John Kay, DTC clerk, said: "The town is certainly not on its knees. It's our understanding that the Courtyard Gym owner received a good offer to sell, while Clifton Camaras is one of the biggest units in that area spots, so given its size position, we would not be surprised for that to be quickly taken up."

Exiting its site on Parsonage Street, Clifton Cameras has been trading since 2006 and now employs 30 staff. The business, which declined to comment, told social media followers it will expand at larger premises in Staverton Technology Park. The Dursley operation closed on June 25, with the Cheltenham re-opening scheduled for July 2.

It is unknown whether crime incidents reported at the address influenced any decision, but Clifton Cameras' Parsonage Street shop had been targeted by repeated raids, with almost £100,000 worth of stock taken in one incident last June.

A spokesperson commenting on the expansion move has said that forecasts of decline in the sector at the hands of the development of the smartphone may have been hasty.

They told media: "Our experience has been far from the case.

"More and more people are realising the beauty and benefits of having their memories printed."

Mr Kay added: "I wouldn't say retail crime in Dursley is higher than anywhere else; the type of shop that Clifton Cameras was picked out because of the type of equipment they sold.

"We generally have a good take up of retail units and one or two startups in the last few weeks. It's certainly not all doom and gloom!

"In terms of what we'd like to see for Dursley in the next five years, the Town Council would welcome any additional in funding but we are already working hard in terms of increasing the tourism appeal of the town through our Visit Dursley group and projects they are progressing.

He added: "Our summer festival is also coming up, a week on Saturday, with the aim of bringing people into the town who would not normally come in, with stalls, entertainment and a celebration of all the attractions our Cotswold town offers."

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