Sun boosted Somerset trading

The museum had a drop in visitors in September.

The museum had a drop in visitors in September. - Credit: Archant

SOMERSET business owners say trading over the past 12 months has improved on last year and is showing ‘signs of recovery’.

Businesses suffered from poor trading conditions in 2012, with a wet summer and colder-than-usual winter, and Mike Sartain of the Axbridge Chamber of Commerce said there were concerns it would not improve.

He said: “Those businesses who are subject to the weather, farming, outdoor tourist attractions and tourist accommodation, having survived 2012, could not afford a similar year.

“Fortunately the sun did come out, and we all put our hats on, and the money came out to play.

“As a major part of our local economy is related to the tourist pound and the agricultural fruits of the land, the summer season turned around those businesses, to make it a year which was far better than 2012.”

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Mr Sartain said businesses not dependent on tourism or the weather also reported improved trading.

He said: “We have had a number of businesses that have opened or reinvested in facilities.

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“The largest local investment has been £8million at Cheddar Woods in the redevelopment of the holiday park, who have reported an excellent season with full bookings of their new lodges.

“On the smaller business front, we were pleased to see the Almshouse reopen, and the refitting of the Crown Inn, both of which have been welcomed with plenty of enthusiasm and resulting trade.

“Businesses still have to continue to work hard and innovate and invest to stay ahead.

“With many locally based and internet dependant businesses, the arrival of superfast broadband cannot come soon enough, to help in that development.

“The forecast for the economy could be stated as fair to improving, with some brighter periods, but the risk of a weak front is still possible.”

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