In an age of supermarkets and high street chains, independent small businesses are vital to helping towns preserve their economic vitality and sense of identity. Sustaining a culture of local shopping, where shoppers and shopkeepers look after each other, is one of the things we want to encourage.

Like so many other towns, Wellington’s shopping offer has been dented in recent decades as those little shops have found it increasingly hard to compete with the big multiples on our doorstep. And yet now, finally, things are changing. Quality new small businesses opening up in previously vacant premises, with further plans in the pipeline. People are realising why Wellington is such a good bet for a new start-up when other towns might not be, and thanks to their confidence and their ideas, our entrepreneurial spark is definitely back.

What are the shops that you think really give Wellington something extra and why? And what sorts of new shops would you like to see joining them?

To read more relating to local businesses – ideas, opportunities and success stories – read these blog posts: