When It Happens Panel Get involved: send your photos, videos, news & views by texting 'OXFORD NEWS' to 80360 or email
Coffee shop prepares to give village trade a lift
HIGH Street shopping is back in fashion as trade in Kidlington is picking up.
The Blockbuster shop, which has been empty on the main road in the village for 18 months, will soon be transformed into an independent cafe and things are looking good for other empty properties.
Diane Lytollis, 46, is working hard to open the Magenta cafe by the end of July.
She said: “It is a brilliant size for me. There is enough space for the cafe and the shop, as I didn’t want the cafe to be cluttered. That’s the main focus, to have a really nice place with good food people can come to. I hope it will catch many different types of people. There will be a focus on children as well.”
Diane is also a spiritual medium and will be selling crystals and offering space in a separate room for Reiki and other therapies.
She has been trying for three years to raise the money to lease somewhere.
She ended up selling her house and now has five years to make the business a success as she is renting it from the Kidlington Centre.
The new proprietor is originally from Grimsby but moved to Northlea in 2002 with her daughter Corrie, 18.
She said: “I am scared to death and I think I would be mad not to be but I think you just have to have a bit of faith and take a risk. I feel I was very lucky to get this place. The people at the Kidlington Centre seem to really care about the whole High Street.”
The cafe will be very down to earth and Diane is keen to attract loyal customers and become part of the community.
Duncan May, associate director of VSL and Partners who are the letting agents for the property and others in the High Street, said: “Diane is renting out the cafe, which is great news as it will bring a new face to the High Street. The market in general is improving now, in the past six weeks we have had a lot more queries about all types of properties. It is looking much more positive.”
The Really Useful Shop, which has been empty for two years, and the Clock Tower are both on the market and Mr May is hopeful they will be leased soon and inject even more new life in to the village and he said there has been a lot of interest in both.