Statement on Boswells

Published: Wednesday, 27th November 2019

Statement on Boswells:

Gordon Mitchell, Chief Executive of Oxford City Council, said: “Everyone in Oxford would be sad to see Boswells close. It has been an important fixture of our wonderful city for more than 280 years.

“The owners of Boswells have a long-term lease on the site, and are considering their options. The City Council, as the freeholder of part of the site, will work with the owners to try to achieve the best outcome for the city.

“Although it would be sad to see Boswells close, it is worth stating that Oxford city centre, despite the internet and changing shopping habits, is performing significantly better than most city centres in the UK. Around half a billion pounds has been invested in Oxford city centre in recent years; significant redevelopments are on-going by Jesus, Lincoln and Nuffield colleges and in the Covered Market; and there have been more than a dozen new retail or food and beverage openings in recent months.”

Recent investment in Oxford city centre:

  • The £36m Northgate scheme in Cornmarket Street by Jesus College
  • The £3.1m investment by Oxford City Council in the Covered Market
  • Development and renovation work at the former Mitre public house site in High Street
  • The new Courtyard by Marriott hotel in Paradise Street and the new Premier Inn being built
  • Renovation works at The Jam Factory site
  • Improvement works in George Street Mews

Investment on refurb / fit-out by incoming businesses opening since summer 2019 or due to open shortly:

  • Rituals, Coco Chemistry, Phase Eight and Peloton in Westgate Oxford
  • TK Maxx, Card Factory, The Works and Tortilla in the Clarendon Centre
  • Fatface and Yifang Tea in Queen Street
  • GG Oriental Snack Shack and a planned new restaurant in Gloucester Green
  • Swoon and The Ivy in High Street, with Anthropologie and Ace & Tate to follow
  • Black Sheep in George Street
  • New tenant in former Moss Bros unit, and newly-opened House of Wonders, in Cornmarket Street
  • The Bookstop in the former Jimbob’s unit in Magdalen Street
  • Runaya in Turl Street
  • A&T Cuts in St Aldate’s
  • Sainsbury’s in Frideswide Square

Plus pop-up uses, including: Independent Oxford, Wicked, The Garden, Rewind Clothing (all in the Covered Market), Burrows and Hare (in Queen Street) and Rona Painting (in Ship Street).