Hopes are high Chippenham’s retail route out of Covid restrictions can be a positive one with a whole range of new shops opening in the town.

Squeeky, an eco-friendly store, has opened up in the Emery Gate Shopping Centre, while over at the Market Place Natural Solutions has launched a new health shop.

Online furniture retailer Furniture Box, has also announced plans to move into an 88,000sq ft unit at St. Modwen Park after a deal was struck earlier this month.

Monty George, managing director at Furniture Box, said Chippenham had been an obvious choice.

He said: “It was important for us to find a new home that could cater for our business needs while offering high-quality and well-located logistics space.

“St. Modwen Park Chippenham has done exactly this and we are looking forward to growing the business here.”

Business leaders in the town say the wave of new businesses marks positive change for the town’s retail prospects post Covid.

MP Michelle Donelan is also looking to kick start investment in Chippenham, after holding a meeting last Friday on the future of the High Street.

The idea behind the meeting stemmed from the hope that retailers in the town centre can have a joint discussion about the challenges facing them and to brainstorm potential opportunities.

Following the meeting, the MP will now create a Chippenham High Street Board which will seek to move forward investment and develop a positive and deliverable vision for the town centre.

“I called the meeting to kickstart discussions on the future of Chippenham high street,” she explained.

“My next step is to set up a board dedicated to creating a strategic vision for our town and securing investment. This will not be a talking shop - instead it will be action orientated so we can unlock the opportunities available.

“Chippenham has so much going for it from location to transport links but there is also so much potential and it is crucial that Chippenham high street is seen as a destination to attract more people in and to support our local retailers and hospitality sector.

“I am strongly encouraged that the high street is a priority for Wiltshire Council and there is commitment to helping improve and enhance Chippenham high street.”

Richard Clewer, leader of the unitary authority, added: “Supporting our high streets is the top priority for Wiltshire Council as we emerge from the Covid pandemic.

“We need to work with partners to bring people onto our high streets not just to shop but to eat, attend events, concerts or the theatre.

“Wiltshire Council has committed £4 million to support this work across the county.”