Business, friend or foe?

With Frome Town Councillor Jean Boulton and Mark Williams from Falmouth Town Council

A presentation on this panel can be found here.


  • Frome College project to map the town centre findings:
  • 70% of businesses in Frome are independent
  • 1/3 of businesses have been in Frome for over 20 years with new businesses coming in every year
  • Largest independent market in the South West

What are the issues of Businesses in Frome?

  • Premises
  • Neighbourhoods that favour housing developments
  • Businesses that wish to grow have few alternatives for new offices
  • Broadband
  • Improving skills for small businesses
  • Parking
  • Public transport

To tackle these issues Frome Town Council:

  • Appointed members of staff that focus on economic development and planning
  • Works closely with the Frome & District Chamber of Commerce to put on networking events. E.g. Frome Business Breakfast and Discuss & Do
  • Additional events that focus on what businesses need to be successful and what they can do for the town. E.g. Soul Traders
  • Good Business Audit
    • Consultants ask a range of questions directly to the businesses
    • Evaluates:
      • Economic issues
      • Energy, environment
      • Social concerns
    • Work that brings businesses together
      • Bus service to Commerce Park
      • Bulk buy order for sustainable products for retailers in the town centre
      • Food and waste collaborations
      • Good Business Award
    • Economic Regeneration
      • Borrowed £500,000 to regenerate the Cheese & Grain venue
        • Addition of solar panels
      • FTC purchased some land on the Saxonvale site so that it could contribute with decision on how the land should be used
    • A difference can be made to the business community with little cost
    • Frome businesses wish to contribute to the success and prosperity of the town
      • Apprenticeships successful in Frome
      • Shared expertise
        • Legal advice
        • IT


  • Many independent traders
  • University Town with a high turnover
  • Business Improvement District was created
    • Council was engaged in the BID and provided additional support with businesses in the town
    • Events are also supported
    • The Town Team within the Council carry a brand and assist on these related projects
  • Community Transport
  • 20-minute shuttle bus services arranged
    • Additional links to popular destinations in the local area
  • Pedestrian Priority
  • Discussions with businesses to build a clear strategy for what is achieveable
  • Assets
  • Asking the community their opinion on what is important for the town
    • Events & Festivals
  • Premises that offer shared office space, ideal for new businesses

More Information

Additional notes on this topic from the Breaking the Mould booklet can be found here.

For more information about Frome Town Council’s business initiatives visit

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