BUSINESS leaders are planning a marketing campaign to boost the fortunes of Oxford’s High Street.

Traders, hoteliers and other business representatives met at St Edmund Hall on Friday to discuss ways in which the High Street itself could be better promoted.


The Oxford High Street Association organised the meeting as all traders continue to struggle against competition from online sales, tough trading conditions and high rents.

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Graham Jones, a member of traders’ group ROX - Backing Oxford Business, which works closely with the High Street association, said traders were considering marketing initiatives and a special promotion in the spring in a bid to boost footfall.

He said: “Traders, about nine college bursars and hoteliers including Jeremy Mogford were invited to discuss a spring promotion and longer term marketing of the High Street.


“We want to ensure the High Street is not forgotten - particularly at Christmas - when there can be more of a focus on the central area and the Westgate Centre.

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“The High Street is amazing architecturally and it is also a great street to shop in - there’s a wide variety of independent businesses - it’s a very different scene to the Westgate.”

Mr Jones said traders were now exploring ways of promoting the High Street after getting through the months after Christmas - traditionally a ‘lean period’.

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He added: “I think some businesses are feeling more optimistic than they were six to eight months ago.”

A number of businesses, including Neal’s Yard Remedies, closed in High Street, to relocate to the Westgate Centre, which opened in October 2017.


Antiques on High is now thriving after it was taken over by Vincent Page in 2017.

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The centre had been under threat of closure when book dealer Tony Sloggett, the business owner, decided to retire and trade online instead.

Caroline Henney, who sells vintage costume jewellery and accessories at the centre, said: “Anything that can be done to market the High Street and bring more shoppers in has to be a good thing and once there is a marketing campaign we can promote it on Twitter and Facebook.

"We have been doing well since Vincent took over and there are now 44 different antique dealers here.

"There are lots of tourists in High Street because of the colleges but it would be lovely if local people shopped here more regularly.”

The former NatWest building is being refurbished and converted into a restaurant for The Ivy.