The City of Bath - still drawing the crowds
Local retail, leisure and tourism businesses benefit from the area’s international reputation as a cultural destination. The City of Bath's World Heritage status and natural spa facilities (the contemporary Thermae Bath Spa complex was opened in 2006) help to draw some 4.5 million visitors annually. The total value of tourism to the local economy is estimated to be around £350 million every year.
The centre for retailing in our area is the City of Bath, which has built a strong reputation for its high quality independent retail offer. The Broad Street, George Street, Green Park and Walcot Street areas of the City are centres for specialist shops including quirky clothing, niche food and antique stores.
The popular Southgate development opened in 2010, bringing brands such as Republic, Urban Outfitters and All Saints into the City, as well as a new Debenhams department store.
Our local communities
Other retail centres include our market towns (Midsomer Norton, Radstock and Keynsham), which are all benefitting from regeneration funding targeted at enhancing the local trading environment. In Keynsham, the multi-million pound Town Hall redevelopment was completed in 2014, and continuing commercial and residential development on the characterful Somerdale site will also benefit retail and leisure businesses.
Bath Tourism Plus - promotes the World Heritage City of Bath and surrounding area. BTP operates a membership scheme for accommodation providers, attractions, retailers, tour operators and activity providers. Members benefit from promotional material, and organised events occur throughout the year to drive interest and footfall in the area.
Bath Independent Guest Houses Association - over 100 guest house, B&B, self-catering apartment and small hotel members working together to ensure that Bath and the surrounding area offers the best quality, choice and value accommodation.
Bath Business Improvement District - a business-led and funded organisation delivering improvements to Bath City centre's environment, promoting events to support retailers, and creating opportunities for efficiency savings.
West of England Local Enterprise Partnership (LEP) Retail Sector Group - aims to deliver growth in this sector by creating a range of beneficial projects for business.
British Retail Consortium - the lead trade association representing the interests of the full range of retail organisations, including large multiples, department stores and independent retailers.
The market towns also have traders’ groups and local chambers of commerce which represent business interests in their areas. .