High streets across the UK have taken a battering in recent years. But one appears to be bucking the trend is Bonnybridge.
Following the opening of a new Tesco store near Bonnybridge Cross last year, two new independent businesses have opened in recent weeks just around the corner.
They might offer very different services but they share a belief that the community of Bonnybridge is an ideal location for attracting customers.
It’s a welcome boost to the local economy as well as offering customers greater choice at a time when it’s estimated that 14 per cent of all high street shops nationally currently lie empty or boarded up.
Bonny Travel, which began trading last week, is an independent travel agents run by Sharon Anderson.
The 43-year-old has more than 10 years experience in the travel industry, working with market leaders such as Thomas Cook.
But she was always determined that one day she would start out on her own.
“I did a lot of research before I opened the business and I soon realised there was a gap in the market in Bonnybridge,” she said. “It’s half way between Falkirk and Cumbernauld and more and more people are moving to the area.
“Times are hard for a lot of people but research suggests that many are still saving so they can enjoy a holiday.
“Being an independent travel agent, I’m not bound to recommend a particular airline or hotel.”
Next door to Bonny Travel is Outdoor Pursuits, which specialises in the increasingly popular outdoors market.
“We’re the only fishing supplies shop in the local area,” said owner Archie Somerville.
“There is a huge interest in angling in Bonnybridge and Denny. We’ve seen business increase every week.”