THE BUSINESS landscape in Stroud is 'changing with many units reopening soon'. 

The Stroud & District Chamber of Trade & Commerce have completed a commercial property audit of the town, with the chair saying the results may surprise many commentators on social media.

The chamber conducted a commercial property audit in Stroud town to help set a new benchmark and to inform, as part of its goal to improve the town for those who live, work and visit there.

The audit included 365 commercial and community premises, including shops, hospitality, venues and medical practices, to identify an accurate vacancy rate and provide a base of evidence to combat false claims about the town.

A vacancy rate of 14.5 per cent, close to the national average of 13.8 per cent, was observed.

Stroud News and Journal: Audit analysis of Stroud town centre

Further, the audit supported there is a strong spine of independent shops and hospitality businesses within the town, showing 76 per cent of those businesses are independently owned and run.

Tony Davey, Chair of the Stroud & District Chamber of Trade & Commerce, said: “Being closely aligned with the national average on vacancy rates is not a goal, but it is valuable evidence and sets a benchmark from which we can measure success or failure” commented. 

“There has been a notable rise in negativity, directed by a vocal few on social media, about the town and the businesses here.

"We knew many of the claims made were seemingly at odds with the reality we understood and see, but appreciate people don’t need opinions, they need facts.

Stroud News and Journal: Audit analysis of Stroud town centre

"The statistics are unbiased, carry no agenda, and help those who wish to be informed to better understand the commercial landscape.”

The 7 page report, available to download at, gives a breakdown of business types across the town and a vacancy analysis of last known use.

This enables the chamber to inform prospective newcomers to the town, who wish to understand where premises are vacant or pending vacancy, in addition to where there may be offering-gaps in the town.

Mr Davey said: “Stroud has, in common with many other towns across the country, been scarred by the failures and troubles of national chains, in addition to the withdrawal of banks.

"However, even looking at our vacancy rate, the landscape is changing rapidly and many of the vacant units are undergoing refurbishment to open soon.

"Investment in the town is needed, and we are heartened to see businesses continue to open.

"The current, national economic challenges are here for all to see, but our strong independent roots are helping us to continue to forge ahead.

"One thing remains certain - to keep the local economy alive you need to ensure you continue to use the businesses that trade here.”