A mix of independent and major brands which have just opened in Shrewsbury, having taken on vacant units, has been welcomed by Seb Slater, Executive Director of Shrewsbury BID.

Internationally acclaimed coffee and sandwich chain Pret a Manger took over the revamped former Bank store in Pride Hill in the same week that burger brand Wimpy opened a 100-seat venue in Claremont Street.

Seb Slater continued: “These openings are positive news for the town, representing investment and jobs and demonstrating both Shrewsbury’s entrepreneurial spirit and underpinning its appeal as a destination.

“We have a diverse, vibrant offer and a charm and heritage that sets us apart. Attracting new names to join established successful businesses here brings additional choice for the consumer.

“We appreciate there are tremendous pressures on the retail sector, but as these new arrivals in Shrewsbury show, there are opportunities too.” Seb added.

Joanna Piela, General Manager of Pret A Manger Shrewsbury, said: “Shrewsbury is a vibrant town with lots of people coming to visit. We wanted to offer customers a place where they can relax and enjoy Pret’s freshly-prepared food and organic coffee. We’re also proud that customers can see some of Shrewsbury’s history as the shop features medieval ruins (c.1300) that are believed to have been a merchant’s townhouse.

“We’ve had a great reception and positive response from our customers who are enjoying the shop, and we have also got a brilliant team in Shrewsbury. We were all really excited to open the doors to the shop and have enjoyed getting to know our new customers.”

Interest from the town’s fledgling businesses and entrepreneurs is also expected at new venture, At Nº11 on Fish Street. The Grade II listed building provides space over three floors for start-ups, pop-ups or to trial ideas, hold workshops or chair business meetings. A kitchen in the basement also enables chefs to create pop-up restaurants.

It’s the brainchild of owner Jo Hancocks, who explained: “I always dreamt of having my own shop, but never had anywhere to trial my ideas and always wondered what if there was such a space. I knew if I had a great business idea but needed a space to try it, then maybe others felt the same way. How interesting it would be to have lots of different entrepreneurs using the space, bringing lots of different pop-ups to Shrewsbury’s bustling community. For more information go to atnumber11.com