TRADERS and shopkeepers in Trowbridge have voiced optimism about the town’s future, saying business is picking up from shoppers flocking back to the high streets following the coronavirus lockdown.

Market trader Andy White, 58, from Bradford on Avon, visits Trowbridge every Wednesday with his Andy’s Cakes stall.

He said: “I am pleased with trade. It’s always been my best market and it seems pretty consistent.

“It is well-supported and I have a lot of regular customers,” said Mr White, who also visits Devizes market on Thursday and Chippenham market on Friday and Saturday.

Tracy Parker, co-owner of Leykers coffee shop in White Hart Yard with her husband Graham, said: “With more people now working from home, the future is brighter.

“We’ve had people coming in who would normally spend five days a week working in Bristol.

“Now they are working three days a week at home and are coming into town. I think businesses will benefit.”

Murat Andak, of Eagle Taxis, has just launched a new shop, Everyday Market in Fore Street, during lockdown.

He said: “I am happy with the way trade has gone. When things get back to normality, it will be great.”

Around the corner in Silver Street, Liz Machin, owner of Fabric Magic, is proud to have traded in Trowbridge for the past 18 years.

Mrs Machin, 62, said: “Since reopening we have been really busy.

“My customers have been coming in to restock, and some are making face masks, while others have discovered arts and crafts during lockdown and have learned the value of making things.

“There is a bit more vibrancy about the town. It’s such a shame that some of the charity shops are not open.”

In nearby Church Street, Little White Duck Sandwich Shop owner Neil Brownrigg, was equally optimistic about his prospects.

He said: “I reopened on July 6 and trade is already picking up. Obviously, it is down on this time last year but it is encouraging and heading in the right direction.

“I’ve had a lot of people coming in and saying it’s nice to see the shop reopened. Quite a lot of people have been coming in just for a chat.”

Mr Brownrigg believes that shopping habits have changed during lockdown and that people are coming out earlier in the day and then going home.

He added: “I am sure the town will recover. I have always had a lot of positive spirit from people in Trowbridge.”

The Wiltshire Times’ Backing Business campaign also aims to urge people to return to the high street and Shop Local as lockdown eases.

Meanwhile, members of Trowbridge Chamber of Commerce are working with local businesses on plans to revitalise the town centre.

They are working with landlords and prospective traders to fill the empty units and breathe new life into the town centre’s main shopping precincts.

Since the beginning of the coronavirus outbreak, the Wiltshire Times has been doing its bit to support local business and communities.

This week we publish the second in our series of supplements reflecting what traders are doing to help ensure busineses survive.

Times editor Pete Gavan said: “We’ve seen some remarkable stories of how shop owners and their staff have adapted to keep their businesses open, and to cope with the new rules designed to keep us all safe.

“The best thing we can all do now is Shop Local. Lockdown is easing, we can now visit shops and stores, and our towns offer a huge range of goods. If you don’t feel confident going out yet, use the new websites many of them have set up so you support your community rather than the online giants.”

Alongside the Times’ Backing Business campaign, we’re launching an opportunity for Wiltshire Times readers to nominate their Trader of the Week.

To nominate a trader you feel gives exceptional service go to and fill in the Trader of the Week form.